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LIBRARY OF THE GRAY HERBARIUM 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY. 
, BOUGHT. 



The American Botanist 



Devoted to Economic and Ecological Botany. 



EDITED BY WILLARD N. CLUTE. 



Volume III 



BINGHAMTON, N. Y. 
WILLARD N. CLUTE & CO. 
1902. 



1 



CONTENTS. 



Contributed Articles. 

Ailanthus Prof. W. W. Bailey, 43 

Apple, Concerning the Charles D. TurnhuU, 101 

Autumn Flowers, Conspicuous Prof. W. W. Bailey, 21 

Botanical Club, The American 5, 31 

Botany, The Physician's Need of. Prof W. W. Bailey, 104 

Brunnella, A New Form of. Willard N. Clute, 10 

Camp Followers of the Forest Fire Elsie Murray, 64 

Deciduous Tropical Trees Mrs. E. C. Anthony, 90 

Dwarf Blue Curls William A . Terry, 89 

Fringed Gentian William A. Terry, 102 

Fringed Gentian, Experiments with the Charles C. Plitt, 62 

How the TurkcA^ Mullein Lives, M. F. Bradshaw, 61 

May Apple, The Fruit of 24 

Mushrooms Found at Mt. Pocono Mrs. E. M. Dallas, 91 

National Flowers Mrs. Bertha Taylor, 6 

Nuts, Gathering Prof W. W. Bailey, 66 

Orchids and Ferns of Connecticut, Some Angle M. Ryon, 87 

Pasture Friends Charles D. TurnbuU, 68 

Plant Intelligence M. F. Bradshaw, 86 

Plant Names, Some Vermont C. F. Saunders, 4 

Plants in Winter Prof W. W. Bailey, 84 

Philippines, Botanical Notes from the Boy den Nims, 1 

Porto Rico, Notes from O. W. Barrett, 83 

Porto Rico, Some Surprises for Collectors in...O. W. Barrett, 22 

Seed Packet, A Handy Willard N. Clute, 25 

Some Native Plants of Value Charles TurnbuU, 41 

Winter Blooming Fl owners Ella F. Mosehy, 46 

Twin Flowers, Habits of. Elsie Murray, 45 

Vagabonds Among the Flowers Charles D. TurnbuU, 81 

Reprinted Articles. 

CHmate and Vegetation 109 

DandeHon, Habits of the 10 

Epiph3^tes 11 

How India Rubber is Obtained 106 

Origin of Species by Mutation 26 

Rudbeckia Hirta 8 

Sporelings, A New Way to Obtain 109 

Tea and Coffee as Medicine 72 

Tree and Plant Myths, Indian 70 



Note and Comment. 



American Yew, Fruit of 48 

Antennaria, Reduction of Species 

in 32 

Asplenium Ebenoides a Hybrid... 51 

Beets, A Few 47 

Berries, Birds and 33 

Birches, Revision of the 76 

Birch, Range of the 73 

Bloodroot, The Impatient 74 

Botanical Club, A New Local 97 

Botany, Erroneous Ideas of 37 

Botany, Inaccurate 49 

Cactus Species, Number of. 36 

Catalpa Leaves 16 | 

Catalpa Leaves, Odor of. 53 i 

Chayote, The 17 \ 

Choke Berry, How It Increases... 115 i 

Color Not Always of Use 35 \ 

Common Names, A Mix Up in 114 

Cryptogams, The Flowers of 35 '< 

Daisy, Sleep of. 15 

Dwarf Blue Curls 97 

Extinct Species, More 52 

Farewell to Summer 73 

Ferns, Myrmecophilous 75 

Flowers, Albino 115 

Flower-stalk, The Longest 75 ' 

Flowers, The Opening of 53 | 

Forest-tree Nurseries, Large 48 i 

Fringed Gentian a Biennial, The 114 

Fringed Gentian Experiments 75 ^ 

Fruit, The Largest in the World 74 

Gentian, Irregular Occurrence of 47 j 

Ground Nut in Cultivation, The.. 56 ! 

Heliotrope as a Fever Cure, The 77 ! 

Horsetail, A Poisonous 50 | 

Hybrids, Sterility of 37 : 

Indian Pipe Lives. How the 52 ■ 

Jackson Vine, What is the 34 

Jasmin Flowers, Change of Odor ] 

in 114 I 

Last Rose of Summer 51 

Leaves, Formation of, in Water.. 35 

Lightest Wood, Which is the 49 



Lotus, Seeds of, Edible 73 

MitchellaRepens, The Ripening of 55 
Monkey Flower, Cross -pollina- 
tion in 54 

Moonflower, The Opening of a.... 51 

Mosses Used in Millinery 73 

Mosses, Use of in Millinery 36 

Mulberries and Thimble- berries... 51 

Nectaries, Origin of. 116 

Nomenclature and Taxes 49 

Nomenclature, Generic Names and 76 

Onions as a Rival to the Aneroid 97 

Ornithologist and Botanist 50, 77 

Parks, Promoting the Usefulness 

of 33 

Pitcher Plant, Seeds of Wanted... 17 

Plant Craze, An American 116 

Plant Names, Unusual 32, 48 

Plants, Common Names for 54 

Plants, The Study of 16 

Plants, Variation in 48 

Polygalaceae, Fruit of the 74 

Poppy, The California 36 

Rosette Plants and Protection 

from Cold 34 

Seed Defined, A 47 

Seeds, Relation of Elevation to 

the Shape of. 15 

Selaginella, Does It Bear Seeds ?.. 48 
Stone-crops as Lightning Con- 
ductors 55 

Sumac Stag-horn 47 

Tea-drinking in Britain 74 

Toadstools, Tortoises and 117 

Tuber-bearing Labiates 32 

Virginia Creeper, The Two Forms 

of 37 

White Pine and Storms, The 75 

Whitewood, New Use of 36 

Wintergreen Berries 32 

Wintergreen Berries, When Do 

They Ripen 16 

Wood Fern, Use of the Common 17 

Yew. Fruit of not Poisonous 117 



Editorial 

Books and Writers, 



18, 38, 58, 78, 98, 118 
79, 119 



1 VOL. III. No. 1. 

lO CBNTS n COPY. 

Hi 



THE 



AMERICAN 
BOTANIST 



g A MONTHLY JOURNAL 

i FOR THE PLANT LOVER 



S JULY, 1902. 

m 



BINOH«MTON, N. Y. 
WILbflRD M. OLUTE & CO. 



THB) f\MERIGf\N BOTflNIST 

A Montlily Journal for tlie Plant Lover. 
Issued on tlie 15tli of Eacbi ITEontli* 
WILLARD N. CLUTE, . _ . . - EDITOR 



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THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

Vol. 111. July 15, 1902. No. i 

BOTANICAL NOTES FROM THE PHILIPPINES. 

By BOYDEN NiMS. 

Judging from illustrations of the plant one would naturally sup- 
pose that the Cocoanut palm does not bear until it get to be fifty 
or sixty feet high and then only six to twelve nuts at a time, but 
I have seen trees bearing nuts that could be reached by a man 
standing on the ground and I find that about thirty is the average 
number of mature nuts on a tree at one time, besides innumerable 
smaller ones. In addition to the nuts a valuable product of this 
tree is the sap from which an alcoholic beverage is distilled. The 
sap is collected by making an incision near the bud and hanging 
a joint of bamboo beneath to receive the exudation. Something 
like an acre in extent of the grove is tapped at a time, the different 
trees being connected just beneath the bottom leaves by bamboo 
poles so as to facilitate the emptying of all the bamboo pails by 
climbing only one tree. Two men work together collecting the 
sap. One climbs the tree and lowers the pails with a small rope 
and the other empties them into a larger receptacle, usually an 
earthenware jar. The shells, the outer husk and the the dead 
leaves of cocoanut are used for fuel, the shell being almost equal 
to coal for that purpose. 

Besides the cocoanut there are a dozen or more palms common 
here, among them Areca catechu, 2. tree about eight inches in dia- 
meter and forty to fifty feet high that bears an orange colored 
fruit about the size and shape of a hen's egg containing a single 
seed, which is cut into slices and chewed by nearly all Filipinos 
the same as is tobacco by the Americans. 

Growing among the cocoanut trees are various other trees and 
smaller plants including chicos, mangoes, bread fruit, guaves, lan- 
goles, cacao, bananas, oranges, limes, grape fruit and other fruits 
with which I am not familiar. 



2 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



A peculiar thing noticed about all mango trees is that the limbs 
bear innumerable scars made by bolos, the natives probably believ- 
ing that such treatment will cause them to yield more or a better 
quality of fruit. Oranges here are very^ small with thin tender 
skins that are easily removed without the aid of a knife or other 
instrument. They are eaten before the skin turns yellow and are 
very sweet, but not so juicy as those grown in America. 

A dozen or more varieties of bananas are common, including 
the short, thick red ones that occasionally reach the United States 
from the West Indies. Some are eaten only raw, some only cook- 
ed, while others are good either cooked or raw. Some grow on 
trees four to five inches in diameter and five to seven feet high, 
others on trees a foot in diameter and thirty or forty feet high. 
The flesh of some is pure white and others a deep yellow. There 
is also a wide difference in the size, shape and flavor of the var- 
ious varieties. 

There seems to be no effort toward cultivating any of the fruits 
or vegetables of the Islands so as to improve their quality as is 
done in Europe and America. Farming is done here in a very 
primitive way, with the crudest of implements and on an extreme- 
ly small scale. I have never seen a field of more than a couple of 
acres and none under a high state of cultivation. Most crops are 
simply planted and allowed to grow and mature as best they can. 

Sweet potatoes, lima beans and some other vegetables raised in 
the United States grow wild over here. Gourds, squashes, pump- 
kins, cucumbers, watermelons and com are cultivated after a fash- 
ion. Watermelons are small and insipid. Filipinos gather their 
com after the husk has commenced to dry and roast on the cob over 
coals of fire at the markets and on the streets. I have never been 
in either the tobacco or the cane producing sections of the Island, 
but have seen both growing in gardens. 

The natural order myrtaceae is well represented here, there 
being several species of Eucalyptus, including E. globulus, which 
was probably introduced from Australia, as I have not seen it out- 
side of Manila. There are also several of Eugenia^ including E. 
malaconcnsis, a tree about the size of our apple, which bears an 
edible fruit resembling very much our prickly pear in size, shape 
and color. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



3 



The mallow is another very large family and is represent- 
ed by herbs, shrubs and large forest trees. An interesting mem- 
ber of it is a slender climber covered with delicate spines, deep 
cleft leaves and a bloom resembling very much that of our cotton. 
Another is a tree that gets to be nearly one hundred feet high and 
bears a five celled pod that opens like cotton and contains about 
thirty seeds, the size, shape and color of those of cotton. They 
are covered with lint of fine texture, but only about one-half inch 
long and not so strong as that of cotton. Alost of the large trees 
seem to belong to the bean family and to this class belong most of 
the shade trees in the streets and parks of Manila. 

Besides the large green bamboo used for buildings and various 
other purposes, which get to be four or five inches in diameter and 
about seventy feet high, there is another species, probably intro- 
duced from Japan, which is only two or three inches in diameter 
and twenty or twenty-five feet high. It is bright straw colored with 
some internodes, having one to six dark green stripes about a 
quarter of an inch wide, which gives the plant the appearance of 
having been painted. 

Another interesting plant, probably a native of Japan, also is 
Cananga ordorata, from the flowers of which is made the perfume 
Ylang Ylang. There is a grove of them about two miles from 
Manila and a few trees in most of the public and private grounds 
of the city. The tree grows to the height of fifty feet and bears 
numerous flowers with six slender yellow petals about two inches 
long. The fruit resembles our papaw in shape and structure but 
is smaller and purple in color. 

There are several species of fig here, but none, strange to say, 
of F. carica and none that resemble it very closely. Another 
member of that family, however, Art o car pus incisa, looks very 
much like it, especially the foliage at a distance of a few yards. 
The leaves of two species of fig are used by the Filipinos as a 
substitute for emery paper. 

Two members of the Araceae wild here are a large climber, 
seen in nearly all conservatories in the United States, and Cala- 
diiim. Here are some measurements I made of a specimen of the 
latter : Entire leaf, blade and petiole seventeen feet, tip of 
leaf to apex seven feet, blade four and one-half feet across, flow- 



4 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

er stalk eight feet high, spadix one and one-half by seven inches, 
spathe when pressed open, one by one one-half feet. A smaller 
species of this plant is grown for the bulb which is a common ar- 
ticle of food here. 
Manila, P. I. 

SOME ver:\iont plaxt names. 

By C. F. Saunders. 

In the course of a recent trip through the Green ^Mountain re- 
gion of Vermont, I noted several plant names current among the 
people, which I do not find given in the books. In the hope that 
they may prove of interest to readers of The American Botan- 
ist^ I append them here. 

Riidbeckia hirta, bull's eye daisy ; an interesting variant of ox- 
eye; a common name of CJirysantJiemiim leiicantJicnuiin. 

Malva iiwschata, musk rose; an instance of the survival of the 
ancient use of the word rose, which far from being confined to the 
genus, Rosa, was extended in its meaning in old times to flowers 
in general. Similarly the word violet was used by ancient writers 
to include many plants of different sorts. 

Vicia Cracca, wild pea; from its pea like fruit. This plant 1 
found so abundant in some fields as to give them the appearance 
in July of being blanketed over considerable areas with purple 
sheets. The farmers seemed to think the presence of it improved 
the hay. 

Brassica Campcstris, kale; probably a survi\-al of the word ap- 
plied in England to other species of Brassica, a variety of cabbage 
being the best known. 

Dantlionia spicata, June grass. This grass appears in great 
abundance in grass fields which have been allowed to run out of 
cultivated stocks, and makes a fair hay if cut in June, whence the 
common name. 

Riibus odoratus, mulberry, also thimbleberry. The latter 
name, also applied in some sections to the black raspberry, is ob- 
viously suggested by the form of the fruit, but how mulberry 
should become attached to this plant is an enigma. One man 
told me he thought the leaf had perhaps suggested a relationship 
to the mulberry. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 5 

Onoclea sensihilis, polypod or polypod brake. This name ap- 
pears to be universal throughout Vermont, but I am completely 
at a loss to account for it. Perhaps some reader of this can throw 
light on the origin. 

Osmunda cinnmnomea), Buckhorn-brake ; for what reason is 
not obvious, but possibly the woolly stipe has suggested to some 
rustic imagination the velvety covering of a buck's horn. 

Pteris aqiiilina, hog brake; because, I was told, the young 
fronds are eaten by pigs. The word brake, meaning fern in gen- 
eral, is I believe in common use throughout rural New England, 
as well as much of New York State, and is no doubt an inherit- 
ance from the speech of old England, where in some countries, 
according to a writer quoted in Britton and Holland's Dictionary 
of Plant Names, the word fern was formerly not understood. This 
is analogous to the state of things in the Green Mountain region, 
where the term fern, if comprehended at all, is looked upon as a 
'^citified" expression. Both brake and fern, however, are found 
in Anglo-Saxon in forms little different from their present day 
readings. 

Philadelphia. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANICAL CLUB. 

The American Bbtanical Club is now fully organized and in 
the last thirty days has more than trebled its membership. In 
October the first annual election of officers will be held. The of- 
ficers appointed to serve for the rest of the present year are as fol- 
lows : President, Willard N. Clute, Binghamton, N. Y. ; first 
vice-president, Charles C. Plitt, Baltimore, Md. ; secind vice-pres- 
ident, Edw. C. Jellett, Philadelphia, Pa. ; secretary, J. C, Buch- 
heister, Griffins Corners, Delaware County, N. Y. ; treasurer, 
Frank A. Suter, Lancaster, Pa. 

Tn order to be of the greatest usefulness, the club has establish- 
ed an advisory council, consisting of specialists who will help stu- 
dents name their puzzling finds. Mr. C. G. Lloyd, Court 
street, Cincinnati, Ohio, will name any specimens of puff-balls, 
eart'i stars, birds-nest fungi and allied plants that may be sent 
him, and if members of the club who are interested in such things, 
will send him their names he will be glad tO' send them some of his 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



own publications on the subject. Mr. W. C. Barbour, Sayre, 
Pa., will name specimens of hepatics or liverworts. Prof. John 
AT. Holzinger, Winona, Minn., has agreed to name mosses and 
V'ijlaicl N. Clute will identify the ferns. Mr. James A. Graves, 
Surquehanna, Pa., will assist members in naming the sedges. 
Specialists in other difficult groups will soon be added to this list. 
Nearly all of those named have promised articles on the collection 
and preservation of specimens. 

Members who send specimens for identification are reminded 
that the f^pecialists are very busy people and should not be asked 
to name specimens out of curiosity. If one has done his best to 
name his specimens, without success then he will find the special- 
ist gic.d to aid him. And if he would help the specialist to correct 
identified :h:n. he should send the best specimens he can find with 
any note he may think serviceable. Above all he will not forget 
to fully prepay postage and to enclose stamped and self-addressed 
envelope for reply. 

The club has already issued a folder explaining its aims, copies 
of v.hich may be obtained from the secretary. The constitution 
and list of members will soon be published. Members are expect- 
ed to report upon their studies to the president at least four times 
a year. These reports will subsequently be published in the Am- 
erican Botanist. The dues are fifty cents a year and all persons 
interested in plants are cordially invited to join. Address the 
secietary for further information or in applying for membership. 



NATIONAL FLOWERS. 
By Mrs. Bertha Taylor. 
The national flowers of other countries have most of them been 
chosen on account of some historical association. Scotland has 
chosen the thistle as her flower. The story is this: During a 
night attack which some Danes were making on a body of Scots, 
a bare-footed soldier trod on a thistle and in his agony, gave a 
cry which aroused and saved the sleeping men. Well may the 
motto of the order of the thistle be ''Nemo me impune lacessit." 
No one wounds me with impunity or in Scots dialect, "Take tent 
how ye muddle with me." 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 7 

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland at one time traveled as 
missionary over Ireland. One day while preaching he was anx- 
ious to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. The people failed to 
understand and refused to believe that there could be three Gods 
and yet but one. The holy man seeing a shamrock peeping from 
the green turf on which he stood, gathered it and showing it to 
then exclaimed : ''Doyou not all see in this simple little wild flower 
how three leaves are united in one stalk, and will you not then 
believe that there are indeed three persons and yet one God ?" His 
audience easily understood the simple illustration. From that 
period the shamrock became the national emblem of Ireland and 
dearly is it loved by all the warm hearted, affectionate people. 

Clovis, founder of the French Monarchy, married Clotilda ot 
Bergundy, who was a Christian. She was very anxious that her" 
husband should embrace her religion. Her persuasions were of 
no avail, however, until there came trouble between the Germans 
and the French. During a severe battle the French were nearly 
beaten wdien Clovis exclaimed : God of Clotilda, if thou wilt 
grant me this victory I will henceforth worship no God but thee!" 
His prayer was heard and the Germans were routed with great 
slaughter. 

Clovis remembering his vow was soon baptised, and an old 
legend tells us that immediately after the ceremony an angel ap- 
peared to him and presented to him a Fleur de lis, to testify the ap- 
probation of heaven and his right to- the French crown. Since 
that time France has been called the ''Empire of Lilies" and the 
Fleur-de-lis or the old fashioned flower of our garden the Flower 
de luce, the national flower of France. 

The longest and mo-st bloody war that ever desolated England 
was named after the lovliest flower of our garden. The rose was 
used as the badge of the two parties, the red by one side and white 
by the other. The cause of the war was a dispute as to the right- 
ful heir to the throne. It was carried on for many years until at 
the marriage of Henry VIT. with Elizabeth of York the two rival 
houses were united. The roses then blended together became the 
national flower of England and were emblazoned on her arms and 
on her coin. 



8 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



RUDBECKIA HIRTA. 

The cone flower, (^Rudbeckm hirta,) is said to be an introduced 
plant in this part of the country, but it springs up so spontaneous- 
ly in the meadows, tits in so naturally with its usual environments,' 
and is so thoroughly at home wherever it obtains a foothold that 
it is hard to realize it was not always found here. 

Though classed as a "pestiferous weed'' in some parts of the 
West, from which it is said to have come to us, it has never be- 
come so plentiful here as to be troublesome. Growing usually in 
the meadows, which are occasionally plowed up, it is exterminated 
before there is any danger of its becoming too plentiful. 

If we might ascribe to a plant the power of being able to select 
an environment best adapted to set it off, surely we would have to 
admit that the Rudbeckia displays rare talent in that way, for the 
green grass of the meadows forms the most beautiful setting pos- 
sible for the gorgeous yellow blossoms. If the Rudbeckia was a 
shade-loving plant, fems would make a pretty background, but 
it loves the sunshine and the swaying grasses are its fitting ac- 
companiment. 

The name Rudbeckia was given in honor of the Swedish bot- 
anists Rudbeck. father and son, and the specific name hirta aptly 
describes the plant, as the leaves bristle with stiff hairs on both 
upper and under sides, and the stem and calyx as well. 

The common name cone flower is also apposite. \Mien the 
blossoms first open, the receptacle on which the small, purplish- 
brown disk flowers appear is almost flat and button-like, but as the 
blossoms grow older this receptacle expands into a very promin- 
ent cone-like structure, which gives a unique personality to the 
large, showy blooms. 

Black-eyed Susan is another common name, the origin of which 
it might be interesting, but probably impossible, to trace. It must 
have been given by one who admired the black eyes of some lively 
Susan of the past. Common names are so apt to be circumscrib- 
ed to limited localities, the wonder is how this particular one could 
have become so generally adopted. 

Yellow daisy is another quite common name, but the use of 
this should be discouraged for the simple reason that the Rudbeck- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 9 

ia is not a daisy. To those addicted to using this name, we sug- 
gest that they make a comparison of the blossoms. Though both 
belong to the Composite Family, and so are cousins, a very super- 
ficial examination of the blossoms will show at least one differ- 
ence, which is, that the disk flowers of the daisy are not arranged 
in cone-like fashion, like those of the Riidbcckia. It is just as 
easy to remember the name cone flower as it is yellow daisy, and 
the former name is so descriptive and appropriate it is hoped the 
latter will fall into disuse. 

The blossoms of theRiidbcckia are supposed to be only of a very 
vivid, golden yellow color, but in reality they vary considerably 
in depth of tone, some being a light, lemon yellow and others rang- 
ing through gradations to a deep orange tint. It has been ob- 
served that flowers of particular tints are found in the same lo- 
calities year after year. 

In the summer of 1891 the writer found in a field in the town 
of Gates, near Rochester, X. Y., a few blossoms of Rndheckia 
hirta which differed from the normal type in having a band of 
dark color at the base of the rays. In 1892 the same field was 
again visited and blossoms showing similar variations were found. 
That season a number of flowers with different markings were 
gathered, and the specimens formed a well-marked series. In 
some there were only faint lines, like pencilings, at the base of the 
rays ; in others the lines were heavier and darker, the center line 
sometimes extending from the base to the apex of the ray ; the; 
rays of soiiie of the flowers were all more or less shaded with 
brown ; some showed a band of orange distinctly darker than the 
rest of the ray; the series culminated in specimens in which the 
band at the base of the rays was as distinct and as dark in color 
as in Calliopsis. As the band grew more distinct, the flowers de- 
creased in size, those showing the darkest coloring being not much 
larger than th blossoms of Calliopsis. - 

TheRudbeckia takes kindly to cultivation and is an attractive 
feature in the wild garden. From a root accidently transplanted 
into a city yard, each year an increasing number of plants have 
sprung from the dispersed seeds, until they have become a distinc- 
tive feature, much admired by the passers by and prized by the 
possessor. Both flowers and plant seem to improve by cultiva- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



tion, and we commend the Riidbcckia as worthy of introduction 
to any garden, and particularly to one where a corner is reserved 
for our wild flowers. I have found it difficult to make trans- 
planted roots live, but from seeds scattered I have a vigorous plant 
which bloomed freely late last summer, and is very flourishing at 
the present um^.-Floroicc Bcckzcifh in Vick's Magazine. 



HABITS OF THE DAXDELIOX. 
Let us take the history of one very common flower, the common 
dandelion. W^hen it is in bud, the flower-stalk is short and lies 
on the ground. Wlien the flower is ready to open, the stalk rises 
itself perpendicularly. \Miat we call a dandelion flower is really 
a bunch of flowers, some hundred florets ranged on a flat disc. 
The outer rows of florets open first, then the inner and inner ones 
ending with the center ones. This lasts some days, and every 
evening about sunset the flower head closes up so as to protect the 
delicate florets from night dews and probably from night insects. 
I found, however, that I could keep a dandelion awake all night 
by exposing it to the blaze of an Argand lamp, which prevented it 
going to sleep. \Mien all the florets have opened, the yellow 
corollas shrivel up. the stalk lays itself down on the ground so as 
to be out of danger and the seeds gradually mature. When they 
are ripe, the flower-stalk by some mysterious instinct becomes 
aware of the fact, and raises itself so as to stand up boldly in the 
wind, which seizes the seeds by their beautiful parachutes and 
carries them oft' to fresh fields and pastures new, and thus enables 
the plant to sow itself in any recently ttirned ground or in any 
other suitable locality.—Lor^/ Avehiiry {Sir John Lubbock) in 
Natures Xofes. 



A XEW for:^i of BRUXELLA. 

Francis Canning in a paper recently read before the Pennsyl- 
vania Horticultural Society mentions a new form of Brunella as 
follows : "There is a wild plant which of late years has adopted 
unusual circumstances and is an instance of where the vegetative 
organs become the reproductive. This plant is Brunella vulgaris, 
or self-heal. Apart from its usual haunts, roadsides and fields, 
it has established itself in well-kept lawns, where even the action 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



of the lawn mower has failed to eradicate it; in fact, it has so 
^ adapted itself to its new way of living as to succeed admirably. As 
it is unable to flower it reproduces itself by offshoots and roots 
from nearly every joint, and if left undisturbed will soon form 
undesirable looking patches. These new conditions have only 
occurred during late years, and its speedy eradication is advis- 
able." The same form has been common for some years in the 
editor's lawn and two years ago specimens were sent to Prof. Peck 
the Xew York State Botanist. Since this form is best handled 
if given a name it is here proposed to call it Bninella vulgaris 
forma nana. It is a curious fact, not generally known that Lin- 
naeus wrote the generic name Prunella, though all subsequent 
writers begin the word with a B.—JVillard X. Clnte. 



EPIPHYTES. 

The relation of these plants to their nutrient substratum is a 
very interesting question,because it enables us to see the particular 
way in which they obtain their food. Those that grow on the 
bark of trees — and they are numerous among Orchids — have a pe- 
culiar method of maintaining themselves. Their roots are adnate 
to the bark, exposed on one side to the air, and form projecting 
lines and ridges, ramifying in all directions, and often constituting 
a regular trellis-work cemented to the bark. These serve as instru- 
ments of attachment, but at the same time they also absorb nutri- 
ment from the substratum, the decaying bark upon which the plant 
is epiphytic. During periods of drought this absorption is sus- 
pended and the plant is practically dormant, but when the rainy 
season commences there is a long duration of wet weather, the 
water trickling over the surface from the collecting ground of 
leaves and twigs overhead, descending lower and lower, and bring- 
ing down not only tiny loosened particles of bark and decaying 
vegetation, but mineral and organic dust which has collected, dis- 
solving all the soluble matter it finds on its way, and so reaches the 
roots and rhizoids in the form of mineral and organic compounds, 
chiefly the latter. In this way the requisite nourishment is convey- 
ed to these curious epiphytes, whose period of active growth occurs 
during the rainy season. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



The roots of epiphytal Orchids differ from those of terrestrial 
plants is being covered with a white papery substance, called the 
velamen, and the cells of the velamen serve the double purpose of 
condensing or absorbing aqueous vapour from the atmosphere, 
when any is present, and of protecting the underlying cells from 
excessive evaporation during periods of drought. In its absorp- 
tive character it is analagous with the outer cells of the bog-mosses 
{sphagnum) and Leiicohryum, where the small chlorophyll-bear- 
ing cells are covered by large colourless cells, having very thin 
walls, which are variously perforated, and not only absorb water 
in liquid state, like a sponge, but also have the power of condens- 
ing it when in the form of vapour. A double function appertains 
to the roots of epiphytal Orchids, firstly to fix the plant to the bark 
and secondly to supply it w^ith nutriment. When the tip of a root 
comes in contact with a solid body it adheres closely to it, flattens 
itself out more or less, develops papilliform or tubular cells, which 
grow into organic union with the substratum, and act as holdfasts. 
But if the root extends beyond the limit of the substratum it ceases 
to develop these clamp-cells, and hangs down in the form of a 
white filament. Alany of these aerial roots do not become attach- 
ed at all but hang freely in the air, often forming regular tassels. 

The power of condensing aqueous vapour, and other gases as 
well, is of the greatest importance to these plants, for the bark to 
which some of them are attached is anything but a permanent 
source of moisture, and when this supply fails the only possible 
method of acquiring it is by condensing any that may be present in 
the atmosphere. When this supply fails the velamen dries up, and 
then acts as a medium of protection from excessive evaporation 
from the underlying tissue, and the plant then goes to rest. It 
must not be supposed that epiphytal Orchids grow in a perpetually 
moist atmosphere in the shady primeval forests. Many of them 
grow in only partially shaded spots, and in regions where periods 
of drought occur regularly every year, during which time there is 
a more or less complete cessation of vegetative activity, when the 
use of a protective covering for the roots is at once apparent. Most 
Orchids w^hich are furnished with aerial roots perish if planted in 
soil in the ordinary w^ay, but a few of them will occasionally bury 
their roots spontaneously in the earth, in which case they cease 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



13 



to develop the papery envelope, when they exercise the same func- 
tions as in the case of land plants. 

Some other plants besides Orchids exhibit this papery covering 
on their aerial roots, but more frequently these roots are furnished 
with a dense fringe of so-called root hairs, arranged in a broad 
zo'ue behind the growing point, which are packed so closely togeth- 
er as to have a velvety appearance. These aerial roots never reach 
the ground or adhere to any substratum, and their function is en- 
tirely to condense and absorb the aqueous vapour from the air in 
which they are freely suspended, as has been proved by direct ex- 
periment. Plants which have this kind of root grow in places 
where the air is very moist all the year round, and where the tem- 
perature does not fall below the freezing point. Where the air 
becomes periodically dry they cannot exist, because they have no 
means of preventing excessive dessication, a contingency we have 
just seen to be provided for in the papery covering of the roots of 
epiphytal Orchids. 

In many parts of the tropics, although the rainfall is heavy, there 
is generally an intermission of several weeks, and it is obvious that 
the epiphytes would wither and die if some provision were not 
made against such a contingency. The Bromeliads have reduced 
the evaporation from their leaves to a minimum, and made them 
hard and tough. Epiphytal ferns store up moisture in thick, leath- 
ery, and scaly rhizomes. And among Orchids we find the modifi- 
ed stem known as the pseudobulb a unique contrivance for retain- 
ing leaves through the longest drought. In some cases when the 
leaves are thin, they fall away altogether, and the plant is reduced 
to a bundle of green pseudobulbs, attached to- its support by a few 
almost dry aerial roots, and thus it remains dormant until the re- 
turn of the rainy season. The deciduous Dendrohiums form very 
good examples of this type. Sometimes the pseudobulbs are large 
and very fleshy, and the leaves are not deciduous, as in the case of 
Oncidiums, Odontoglossums, etc., while some seem to rely almost 
entirely upon their thick leathery leaves as a means of storage, as 
in the case of Oncidiums of the Lanceamim and Jonesiamnn 
groups. Some there are which have both thickened pseudobulbs 
and thick leathery leaves, as certain Cattlcyas, etc. Conversely 
we find others which have nO' pseudobulbs, though the leaves are 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



more or less fleshy, as in Masdevallia, and others in which both 
features are practically absent, as in the Pescatoreas, Bolleas, and 
Warsceimczellas, a pretty sure indication that these plants have no 
long periods of drought to provide against. In short, they remain 
active almost throughout the year, and should be treated accord- 
ingly. 

In a chapter entitled ''Up in the Trees," Mr. Rodway has given 
a most graphic account of the epiphytes of Guiana. He states 
that the gloom of the forest is so great that very few plants exi 
on the ground, and in order to see the representatives of the pretty 
wood flora of temperate climes we must look overhead. In the 
recesses of the forest there is nought but bare trunks and leafless 
*'bush-ropes." Even the epiphytes want light, and cannot exist 
without it, and where this precious influence is obtainable, they 
crowd every branch and twig, almost to the ground, and carry on 
the struggle for life right up to the tree tops. Monster arums 
twelve feet in diameter occupy the great forks, and throw down 
long cord-like aerial roots. Pushing those cords aside, the plants 
are barely discernible on account of the crowd of other epiphytes 
which surround them. Screens of creepers with festoons of hand- 
some flowers, masses of Rhipsalis, pendulous branches of grass- 
like ferns, and thousand epiphytes on every branch ob- 
scure the view, and make it hard to say from whence 
a particular aerial root is derived. Some branches are occupied 
by dense rows of Tillandsias, which push everything else aside and 
take possession of the upper surface, where their vase-like circles 
of leaves form reservoirs of water against the time when little or 
no rain falls, which reservoirs are utilised by the beautiful Utri- 
cularia Humholdtii. Hardly a twig is free from epiphytes unless 
the gloom is too great, and these plants vary greatly in the amount 
of light they require. Some grow on the shady side of the trunks 
and never see the 'sun, others exist and thrive in places where we 
might expect them to be burnt up. Among the mosses and hepa- 
ticae grow tiny Orchids with almost microscopic flowers. 

The study of epiphytes in their native surroundings is a fascinat- 
ing subject, and the fact that they can exist in the way that many 
of them do shows a marvelous power of development in some past 
age. They are for the most part children of the moist forests, and 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. I 5 

their very existence indicates the victory they have won in their 
struggle for Hght. They have literally been forced up into the 
trees, and have attained their present development by seizing posi- 
tions of vantage with very little expenditure of materials. Com- 
mencing as humble occupants of the shady soil in the forest, it has 
been remarked that they have, during the course of ages, literalh- 
clambered up into the trees, striving after the light, and ever strug- 
gling against the precarious and fluctuating supplies of moistur- 
and humus, inventing new absorbing and fixing organs, and con- 
triving fresh devices for resisting threatened death from thirst or 
starvation, until at length their perilous career was crowned with 
success, and they formed aerial meadows and shrubberies. Their 
evolution is still reflected in the forest, where the simplest still 
lurk low down in moist shaded crevices on the tree trunks, and the 
more specialized ones are ranged successively upwards, until even 
before the tree tops are reached perfection is practically attained. 
—Indian Gardening. 



NOTE AND COMMENT. 

Wanted. — Short notes of interest to the general botanist are 
always in demand for this department. Our readers are invited 
to make this the place of publication for their botanical items. 

Relation of Elevation to the Shape of Seeds.— Winged 
seeds are only useful when they start from a certain height. They 
occur in many trees— ash, lime, maple, sycamore, pine, fir, beech 
and hornbeam— but not on low plants. Hooked seeds, on the con- 
tra) ry, would be useless on high trees or even on shrubs above the 
height of a horse or cow. They occur on docks^ burrs and many 
ether herbs but are not found on a single tree or even on any 
shrub. Edible seeds especially characterize low trees and shrubs 
loved by birds— such as the cherry, holly, ivy, yew, etc., etc.— A^a- 
ture Notes. 

Sleep of the DAiSY.~It is freqently stated in regard to the 
common ox-eye daisy {chrysanthemum leucanthcnnim) that its 
ray flowers fold over the disk at night, and opening in the morn- 
ing earn for it the name of daisy (day's eye.) As a matter of fact, 
the ray flowers do nothing of the kind— at least in New York state 



i6 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



daisies. The habit of closing at night is reported of the English 
daisy which is quite a different plant from ours, and it is possible 
that the reputation given our plant has come by unconscious trans- 
ference; though it would be interesting to know if the ox-eye daisy 
ever closes after the ray flowers are once spread. 

The Study of PLANTs.--The unsolved problems of plant life 
are almost infinite. To make a collection, is no doubt interesting, 
but it is like making a library. What is the use of the books if 
you do not read them ? What is the value of a collection if you 
do not use it? Aristotle said the greatest happiness of gods or 
man was to be found in the study of nature, and I think that one 
of the wisest of the many wise sayings which we owe to this dis- 
tinguished man.— Lort/ Avebnry in Nature Notes. 

When do Wintergreen Berries Ripen ?~Most books that 
mention the subject say that the wintergreen {Gaultheria procunt'- 
hens) does not ripen its berries in autumn, but that they ripen 
under the snow. Who can say whether this is correct or not? 
The same idea prevails with better reason regarding the partridge 
berry {Mitchella rep ens) though one author speaks of them as 
"lasting well into the winter." It is, however, no uncommon 
thing to find the vines at flowering time thickly covered with ripe 
berries, and it is a question how long one crop of fruit lasts ; pos- 
sibly for two years or more if the partridge does not claim its own 
in the meantime. 

Catalpa Leaves. —Britton and Brown's Flora describes the 
leaves of Catalpa hignonioides as strongly scented. This tree is 
quite abundant in the neighborhood of Philadelphia along water 
courses, but I have failed to notice any particular odor in the 
leaves. It would be interesting to know from the editor of The 
American Botanist or its readers what the experience of other 
observers has been.~C. F. Saunders. (The editor has carefully 
examined a large number of both C. hignonioides and C. spcciosa 
and can find no marked odor in the leaves of either. Further ob- 
servations are desirable, however. While examining the leaves 
another interesting fact developed in the way the trees bloom. The 
side toward the sun, so far as observed, invariably bursts into 
bloom first. No doubt this phenomenon is observable in most 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. I 7 

flowering trees, but is never so noticable as in the sun-loving 
catalpa.) 

Seeds of Pitcher Plant Wanted.— Any reader of The Am- 
erican Botanist v^^ho can collect a small packet of seeds of the 
pitcher-plant (Sarracenia Purpurea) and send them to my address 
during the summer would do me a great favor. None grow in the 
vicinity and I should like to raise them nearer home if possible. 
Will return postage and favor in any way I can. — Asa A. Schaef- 
fer, Knnklctozim, Pa. 

Use of theCommon Wood Fern. — Thedealers in bouquets do 
a lively business in New Orleans in winter, for flowers are cheap 
and easily grown. The greenery that is mixed with the flowers, 
however, is not so reajdily produced it would seem, for a northern 
fern, no other than our common wood fern {Nephr odium spinu- 
losinn intermedium) , is the principal thing used. Since this fern is 
not konwn to grow^ south of Tennessee I had the curiosity to visit 
a florist and make inquiry regarding it and was informed that the 
fronds are all from the New England States, being sent down by 
the millions in Autumn and kept in cold storage until wanted. 
Thus does bleak New England contribute to the enjoyment of a 
Southern winter. —Fmz Bulletin. 

The Chayote. — Much has recently been written about a new 
vegetable, the chayote (Sechiinn ediile), commonly grown in 
Porto Rico^ and now recommended for cultivation in the warmer 
parts of the United States. It does not appear to be known that 
the chayote is not entirely new to the United States, though it has 
long been grown in Louisiana and is common in the markets of 
New Orleans. It is known among the French as ''mirletonf 
while the Italian marketmen call it ''vegetable pear." In shape it 
is much like a cucumber, largest at the blossom end. 
The plant is of the melon family, but unlike other species 
the chayote has but a single large seed in each fruit. The plant 
is a cucumber like vine that spreads rapidly and the root is peren- 
nial, but will not withstand frost. Hundreds of tons of the chay- 
ote are annually sent to the London and Paris markets from the 
warmer parts of the Old W orld. 



EDITORIAL. 



From many parts of the Xorthern and Eastern States, come re- 
ports of such frequent and copious rains that the cultivators of 
the soil despair of securing their usual crops. In the valley where 
the Botanist is published it has rained nearly every day for three 
months. Discouraging as such weather must be to the farmer, 
and the botanist, they may gain some small consolation from the 
reflection that this is a great year for nature's wild crops. Trees, 
shrubs and herbs are growing vigorously and getting a start that 
will not soon be lost. The autumn show of asters and golden- 
rods promises to be unrivalled and ferns are looking better than 
thev have for vears. 



Those who intend to have a bed of wildflowers in their garden 
next spring may be advised that no time should be lost in looking 
up the plants in field and wood. All traces of such plants as the 
adders tongues, spring beauties and Dutchman's breeches, have 
probably disappeared, but the violets, trilliums, blood-root, Solo- 
mon's seal and others may still be found. Among wild plants 
that are best suited for shady gardens may be named the colum- 
bine, the wild lilies, the lung^vort, mitrewort, coltsfoot, Jack-in- 
the- pulpit, hepatica and the anemones. 



It was found impossible to get the illustrations for the propos- 
ed key to the wildflowers ready for this issue and as the key, when 
ready, will run through several numbers, it is thought best to post- 
pone its publication for a few issues until all the matter is ready. 



It is interesting to observ e the different ways in which our two 
societies for the protection of plants go about the business in hand. 
The original "Society for the Protection of Xative Plants," has 
already issued six leaflets calling attention to the plants that need 
protection and suggesting means of protecting them. The latest 
publication is a poster which is sent free to anyone who will place 
it in a conspicuous place. Membership in this society costs noth- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. I9 

ing and the leaflets are sent to all who enroll as members. The 
secretary is Miss Alaria E. Carter, Boston Society of Natural His- 
tory, Boston, y[d.ss. The imitator of this society, the ''Wlldflow- 
er Preservation Society of America," is approaching the subject 
by means of illustrated lectures held mostly in our larger cities. 
Membership in this society costs a dollar a year. The secretary 
is Charles L. Pollard, National ^luseum, Washington, D. C. 
Those who are actively interested in protecting the wildflowers 
will probably find one or the other of these societies to meet their 
requirements. 



. 'Tt seems to us that the director of the Bronx Zoological Park 
is unnecessarily agitated over the threatened extinction of wild 
flowers within his domain," saye Leslie's Weekly. "He writes 
a long letter to the Herald complaining that in spite of all 'print- 
ed warning and appeals in three languages,' and the efforts of a 
corps of detailed watchers, the children will persist in picking the 
wild violets, the arbutus, the columbines, and other wild flowers 
growing in the park, and, in consequence, all these natural attrac- 
tions are soon likely to disappear entirely. We fail to be moved 
by the director's pathetic plea for the wild flowers, our sympathies 
being rather with the children who are described as rushing to 
them with 'cries of joy,' and picking them 'as fast as their fingers 
can fly.' We doubt very much whether these 'raids' can be stop- 
ped, even if the police, the park employes, and the parents com- 
bine in the effort, and, what is more, we would not stop them if 
we could. Daisies, dandelions and violets will doubtless continue 
to grow in the vast spaces of Bronx Park for years to come, des- 
pite all the depredations of 'little hands,' and if they are finally ex- 
terminated in this way, as the director fears, why, let them go. 
.What does it matter ? Far better so than to institute a govern- 
ment of terrorism in the park for the repression or punishment of 
the little people who are charged with rushing with 'cries of joy' 
among the flowxrs." 

Leslie's Weekly is quite right in this matter. There is some 
reason in preventing the public from mutilating the dogwood and 
other trees for their blossoms or uprooting choice wildings, but 
with other plants the case is different. Every year the Bronx 



20 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



meadows are fairly blue with violets and yet not one of these 
showy flowers ever sets seed. The seeds are produced late in the 
year by inconspicuous flowers, and the early blue blossoms seem 
to be designed by nature solely for the children. Picking these 
flowxrs will not injure the plant in any way. It would seem far 
better to establish certain permits for picking the flowers, and de- 
tail some of the numerous park employes to superintend the pick- 
ing, than to protect these useless flowers as is now done. The 
fact that certain flowers could be gathered by permission would 
certainly teach children that the others were not to be touched. 



An applicant to whom we recently mailed a sample copy of 
The American Botanist sent back an order for the back vol- 
umes and a year's subscription with the remark: '1 like this 
sample copy very much, it is so comprehensible to the amateur 
botanist" and another adds in renewing her subscription. 'T find 
the magazine useful and interesting." These two letters have 
struck the key-note of our policy with regard to this publication. 
To make a useful and interesting magazine that is comprehensible 
to the beginner in botany as well as to the advanced student is our 
sole aim. To accomplish this we need an abundance of original 
notes and we hope our readers will have the Botanist in mind 
when preparing articles for publications. 



The Journal of Mycology has again made its appearance. It 
was begun in 1885 by Prof. W. A. Kellerman and continued four 
years, then the U. S. Department of Agriculture issued three vol- 
umes after which it was discontinued. The new series is in charge 
of Prof. Kellerman and the initial number which contains 48 
pages makes a very encouraging beginning. A portrait of Prof. 
C. H. Peck is given and there is a very complete and extensive 
index to North American Mycolog}^ The journal will be issued 
quarterly. 



THE MAGAZINE FOR THE YOUNG 
NATURALIST 

The Junior Naturalist 

A sample copy may be had for the asking 

Address: THE JUNIOR NATURALIST, 

1079 S. Avers Ave., Chicago. 

Ozark Ginseng Gardens 

FOR SALE — A fine selection of new ginseng 
seed and bedded plants, prices on application. Also 
have one ginseng garden for sale very cheap. 

C. M. RICHARDS. 

Birch Tree, Mo. 



Beautiful Wild Flowers 

To those interested in wild flowers I would call 
attention to my work. I have made a specialty of 
painting the wild flowers of Arkansas in water 
colors. For one dollar will send plate 10 x 14 in. 
with spray of azalia, passion flower, or morning 
glory painted from life. Have also the above named 
flowers in panels 8^x35 in. Many other vari- 
eties and sizes. For price list and information 
address with stamp. 

MISS ORRIE RILEY, 

Hot Springs, 
Garland Co., Arkansas. 



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This is the only journal in the v*'orld devoted to ferns. Each issue contains 32 pages 
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Address 

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THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

Vol. 111. August 15, 1902. Xo. 2 

CONSPICUOUS AUTU^IX FLOWERS. 
By Prof. Bailey. 

The last weeks of September are particularly rich in flowers. 
Nature appears to make one supreme effort and now ''gathers up 
her robes of glor}'" as she prepares for the bleak and inhospitable 
winter. We do not find these showy flowers in the woods so 
much as upon their borders and in swamps. While the prevail- 
ing colors are blue and gold, the asters and goldenrods being 
largely displayed, we are by no means confined to these tints. The 
scarlet cardinal flower can still be found by water-courses, the 
most intense, if not the grandest of our wildflow^ers. A Lobelia, 
is the type of a very handsome family, known to every one in cul- 
tivation through the pretty blue trailing vine. Lobelia erinus, of 
hanging baskets. In the Middle States there is a large wild blue 
Lobelia— 3.8 handsome nearly, as the red one. Both are suscep- 
tible of cultivation and improvement. 

In quite similar places one often flnds the monkey flower or 
Miinulus ringens, tall and handsome with blue flowers. It be- 
longs to the Figworts. Besides the goldenrod and asters, the 
Corppositae present us various wild lettuces of the genus Pre- 
nanthes, recognized by their persistent cream-colored heads. But 
most brilliant of this family are the bur marigolds in swamps, the 
yellow and rosy coreopses and certain sunflowers. The latter 
grow in copses or along waysides. The bogs are made xevy gay 
with the splendid disks of these star flowers : indeed ever\- Com- 
poste is regal—even though it be a weed. 

And what, by the way is a weed ? The question may be var- 
iously answered. Some define it as a plant which grows where 
it is not wanted, while Lowell tells us "it is a flower in disguise.'' 
Under either definition the same plant may be a weed or a prized 
acquisition according to circumstances. Some things that were 



22 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



originally introduced into this country as ornaments have so in- 
creased and spread as to become nuisances ; then they are weeds . 
On the other hand, some weeds of ours, transplanted to a region 
where it is rare, may become precious. We might multiply ex- 
amples. 

As everyone knows, our two species of gentian, the fringed 
and the box or closed, are characteristic autumn plants. So is 
the grass-of-Parnassus. This plant is found in wet or boggy 
places—with a large white flower suggesting an anemone, but 
prettily streaked with green. Curiously enough, it belongs in 
the Saxifrange family. This leads me to say an explanatory 
word concerning this matter of relationship. The non-botanist 
is often annoyed or confused by it, but after all it has a philo- 
sophical basis. The ancients resorted to the most obvious classi- 
fications—usually founded upon salient peculiarities. But even they 
recognized the fact that certain plants bore a close relation to 
one another. It is on this fact of relationship or blood affilia- 
tion, so to speak, that modern systems have grown up. Origin- 
ally tentive, they yearly became more scientific and accurate. 
The anatomical structure, the morphology, the life-history enters 
more and more into consideration in determining a plant's posi- 
tion. Generally speaking, the more highly developed it is, the 
more widely differentiated or specialized, the higher it is regarded 
in the scale. 

Providence, R. I. 



SOME SURPRISES FOR COLLECTORS IN PORTO RICO 

By O. W. Barrett. 

The first surprise that awaits the Porto Rican plant hunter is 
the almost entire absence of a primitive or strictly virgin flora; 
for in only two or three limited areas of the Island will he find the 
surface clothed as it was in the time of the Arawaks. Over 
ninety per cent of the Island has been modified by the hands of 
man, as regards flora and probably three-fourths of the Island 
may be called domesticated. He would naturally expect to find 
palms and orchids in great abundance, but he will be negatively 
surprised. The palm flora is small, but according to Prof. O. F. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 2^ 

Cook, it is almost unique. And the orchids of Porto Rico are 
conspicuous by their absence. 

He will meet many species of plants which occur in the South- 
ern States and this may or may not surprise him, according to his 
experience. Accustomed to see Diffcnhachia segiiine as a green 
house pet, he will be surprised to see it flaunting its splendid dark 
green leaves at him, from the midst of some damp thicket. The 
leaves frequently have one or more small white spots on their up- 
per surface, and it is these snowflake-like spots in the wild plant 
which have been bred up intO' the conspicuous blotches and 
streakes of the conservatory specimen. 

If he looks carefully in swampy ground he will perhaps find a 
most peculiar plant of the A morpho phallus type. This plant 
which, by the way, has just been sent to the New York Botanical 
Gardens, and which may prove tO' be a new species, possesses one 
of the most interesting forms of leaves I have ever seen ; the blade 
is neither compound nor palmate, but a peculiar crazy mixture of 
both, and in addition the intravenal tissue isi thrown up into 
ridges and filled with holes of various sizes. The petiole is a 
study in itself ; its surface seems to shine with an iridescent lus- 
tre derived from metallic-looking cells just beneath the epidermis; 
the surface is blotched and marked with light and dark grays and 
browns, like the skin of an adder; and apparently not content 
\vith this scary display, the plantf feebly defends itself with irre- 
gularly placed and almost harmless conical spines. Sacrilege 
though it may be, the large flat corm of this wonderful plant is 
dug and eaten by the half-starved half-breeds of the interior. Its 
flower seems to be unknown, even to the natives, but we hcne a 
little cossetting and the judicious use of phosphoric acid will en- 
able us to see a great treat in the flower line within a few months . 

Pancratium caribacuni grows wild along the sea-beach and 
even in sandy fields back from the coast. Its flowers are four to 
six inches across and exceedingly fragrant. Florists list it at 
about ten cents per bulb. Hippcastriim equcstre, the Barbadoes 
lily, is one of our commonest weeds. A field of these flowers in 
bloom in the early spring is surely a magnificent surprise. For 
all around, rough-and-tumble, catch-as-catch-can vitalitv, I be- 
lieve this bulb cannot be beaten. Plow them up, mangle them 



24 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

with the harrow, and let them bake on top of the soil throughout 
the dry season, and yet when it comes time for them to display 
their red flags they will do so just as if nothing had happened. 

Tree ferns at sea level are another surprise ; and of three spec- 
ies at that. Tahcniaciiiontanca coronaria has escaped from cul- 
tivation. The Amazon lily is also escaping. And I have seen 
Crinitm ainahile, a three-dollar bulb from Sumatra growing lux- 
uriantly in a road side thicket. Our sister Island, Jamaica, 
abo'Unds with ferns of all families : but I doubt if tlie collector 
could find one-half of her five hundred or more species on thib 
Island. 

Porto Rico. 



THE FRUIT OF THE ^lAY APPLE. 

The May Apple {Podopliylluiii pcltatuin) seems to have been 
so named because it ripens in July instead of in ]\Iay. In many a 
youngster's mind the season for May Apples and Sunday school 
picnics are inseparably associated for no wide-awake boy ever 
spent a whole day in the woods without investigating every likely 
object in the vicinity which of course includes this fruit. On the 
subject of its edibleness Mr. C. F. Saunders writes entertaining- 
ly in the Philadelphia Record as follows : 

"But the great mid-summer crop of the woods is the ]May apple 
yield. Everybody knows this common plant in the spring, when 
the appearance of the umbrella-like leaves is the delight of the 
children. As summer advances the foliage turns yellow and be- 
comes bedraggled, and the pear-shaped fruit, about the size of a 
butternut in the hull, grows to be the prominent feature. This is 
now ripe. 

Though possessing a rank, disagreeable odor when green, this 
fruit at the time of maturity is delightfully fragrant, with a per- 
fume hard to define, but combining the characteristic smells of 
cantaloupes, summer apples and fox grapes. Two or three 
Lrcught in and laid on the mantel will perfume the whole room. 

As to the edibleness of the fruit, that is a matter of taste : some 
people loathe it, while others are very fond of it. It ought not 
to be condemned, however, on the evidence of unripe specimens. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 25 

but should be accorded the advantages of a judgment based on 
mature fruit. When ripe the little apples are yellowish in color 
and drop into the hand when touched. The outer rind is reject- 
ed by connoisseurs, the portion eaten being the translucent, jelly- 
like mass that encloses the seeds. On a hot day this is found to 
be a refreshing acidulous morsel by many a thirsty rambler. New 
England housewives sometimes pickle the green fruit." 

In the Tropics there is a highly prized fruit known as the 
Guava {Psidiiim) which although not closely related to the May 
apple, is in size, shape, color, structure and taste a very good 
likeness of it. Guava ''dulce" is a famous product of this fruit. 
Possibly we may yet have May apple dulce. 



A HANDY SEED PACKET. 

Whether one happens to be far afield or only in his own door- 
yard the necessity for a packet that will hold seeds is often felt. 
An old envelope will do' in a pinch, provided one happens to 
have it at hand, but a much better article can be quickly made by 
one who knows how, without the use of scissors, paste, pins or 
twine, that will securely hold the very smallest seeds. 




A HANDY SEED PACKET. 

Fig. I, preliminary folds; fig. 2, corners folded back; fig. 3, 
completed packet. 

This is how it is done. Take a sheet of paper about six by eight 
inches in size and fold in the middle, so that the two eight-inch 
edges are parallel. Next fold these edges over twice, making 
about a quarter inch fold each time, (fig. i.) Then make a dia- 
gonal fold across each end by bending the upper folded corners 



26 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



backward as in figure 2, after which make a third fold at right 
angles to the second (on the dotted lines in figure 2) push the 
free end under the first fold (fig. 3) and the packet is complete. 

This packet has the merit of being instantly made, when desir- 
ed, wherever a piece of paper can be procured and if properly con- 
structed will hold without spilling flour, dust or the finest seeds. 
It is worth the while of anyone who does not know how, to get a 
sheet of paper and learn to make this packet. There are hundreds 
of occasions when the knowledge will be useful~W. N. C. 



ORIGIN OF SPECIES BY MUTATION. 

Three kinds of evening primroses occur in Holland, all three 
introduced from America about a century ago, but since escaped 
from cultivation. The youngest of the three or rather the one 
most recently introduced, and at the same time the most rare, is the 
large-flowered evening primrose, described at the beginning ot 
the nineteenth century by Lamarck, and named after him Oeno- 
thera Lamarckiana. It is a beautiftil, freely branching plant, of- 
ten attaining a height of five feet or more. The branches are 
placed at a sharp angle with the erect stem and in their turn bear 
numerous side branches. Nearly all branches and side branches 
are crowned with flowers, which, because of their size and bright 
yellow color, attract immediatq attention, even from a distance. 
The flowers, as the name indicates, open towards evening, shortly 
before sunset, and this so suddenly that it seems as if a magic 
wand had touched the land and covered it with a golden sheet. 
Bumble bees and moths, especially those of Plusia gamma and of 
Agrofis scgetum, are the principal visitors. During the hot 
weather the flowering period is limited to the evening hours. In 
daytime often nothing is to be seen but faded and half-faded flow- 
ers and closed buds. Each flower bears a long style with four or 
more stigmas, which protrude at some distance above the eight 
anthers, and would therefore, as a rule, not be fertilized without 
the help of insects. When the flowers, including their apparent 
stem, the calyx tube, drop off, there remains behind a perigymous 
ovary, which finally becomes a capsule. At first green, it be- 
comes brown on ripening and finally opens with four val- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



27 



ves, setting free the seeds. A stem with ten to twenty, or even 
thirty or forty, capsules is not rare, nor consequently a plant with 
a hundred ov more fruits. And since each fruit contains more 
than a hundred seeds it would be quite possible for a plant of this 
species to reproduce itself several thousandfold, provided all seeds 
could germinate and grow. 

It is this plant, Oenothera Lamarckiana, which exhibits the 
long-sought peculiarity of producing each year a number of new 
species, and this not only in my experimental garden, but also 
when growing wild. But in the latter case the new species have 
as a rule but a very short lease of life ; they are too weak and too 
few in number to survive in the struggle for existence with the 
hundreds and thousands of their fellows. In the experimental 
garden, however, they can be recognized at an early stage, and 
with especial care may be isolated and cultivated. It is thus that 
in the experimental garden we are readily able to see that which, 
among wild-growing plants, is lost to observation. 

The new species vary but little from the old. An inexperi- 
enced eye detects no difference. Only a careful comparison 
shows that here we have to deal with a new type. There are 
some, for instance a dwarf species, and species with a peculiar 
close crown (0. nanella and O. lata), which at once attract our. 
attention, because they are short of stature. Again, some are 
more slender and delicate, others low and unbranched, or robust 
and tall. A difference may be detected in the shape of the leaves, 
their color and their surface. The fruits vary in the same man- 
ner; sometimes they are long, sometimes short, sometimes slend- 
er, sometimes stout. The more one observes these plants, the 
more differences one sees. Gradually it becomes apparent that 
here we have to deal, not with a chaos of new forms, but rather 
with a series of sharply defined types. Each of these types ori- 
ginated from a seed produced by the parent species, growing wild 
and fertilized in the usual manner, or growing in the experimen- 
tal garden and fertilized artificially wath its own pollen. 

Here then we have our first result. The new species originates 
suddenly, without preparation or intermediate forms. But they 
do not differ from the old species like an apple from a pear, a 
pine from a spruce, or a horse from a donkey. The deviations 



28 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



are far smaller. But every one knows how difficult it is to distin- 
guish the common oak from Quercus sessilifora, or the lime tree 
from Tilia grandifoUa. Yet these are forms which by the dis- 
ciples of Linnaeus are recognized as true species. And what 
botanist has not been entangled in the species of Hieraciiim, or 
who is able to recognize at first sight the closely related forms of 
Coclilcria? 

Because of thd dying out of intermediate forms, more ancient 
species may be widely separated. On the other hand, more re- 
cent species, whose ancestors are still alive, may form narrow 
groups because of and wath these surviving ancestors. Good ill- 
ustrations of the latter are yielded by roses, willows and brambles 
as shown by the facility with which the closely related forms can 
be cross-fertilized, as well as by the great trouble the numerous 
bastards cause in determination. Such genera are found every- 
where in the plant kingdom; the gentians of the Alps, for in- 
stance, or the Heliantheinums, which with us seem to be compos- 
ed of fairly distinct types. Everything indicates that in these 
cases the species are of more recent date, and that only through 
the dying out of intermediate forms the differences between the 
remaining ones have attained that degree of distinctness which 
so greatly facilitates the separation of the other groups. 

In this regard the Oenotheras agree exactly with what may be 
observed in nature. Recent forms group themselves around the 
mother form with minute, hardly perceptible gradations. 

Once formed, the new species are as a rule at once constant. 
No series of generations, no selection, no struggle for existence 
are needed. Each time a new form has made its appearance in 
my garden, I have fertilized the flowers with their own pollen 
and have collected and sown the seed separately. The dwarf 
forms produce nothing but dwarfs (0. nanella), the white ones 
nothing but white ones (O. aJbida), the O. gigas nothing but O. 
gigas, the red-nerved ones nothing but corresponding specimens. 
But a single form made an exception. This was the small O. 
scmtillmis, the seeds of which produced but a percentage of sciu- 
fillans plants, but here this inconstancy is and was as much th«^ 
rule as the constancy of the other species. 

As an example I may cite 0. gigas The plant is as tall as 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 29 

O. Laiiiarckiana but has a more robust stem, denser foliage, a 
broader crown of large, widely opening flowers and stouter flow- 
ering-buds. The fruits attain but one-half the length of those of 
plants of the mother species, and consequently contain fewer seeds. 
But the individual seeds on the other hand, are rounder fuller and 
heavier. Thi$ type originated in my cultures of 1895 as a soli- 
tary specimen, wdiich at first was overlooked. At that time I de- 
sired to hibernate some plants, and in the latter part of the au- 
tumn chose for that purpose twelve of the strongest and best de- 
veloped. It was only in the following summer, when the plants 
began tO' flower, that I noticed that one plant showed differences, 
the importance of which I did not fully realize until the fruits, 
on ripening, became much shorter and stouter than ordinarily 
was the case. It was only then that I placed the raceme in a bag 
so as to prevent fertilization w4th other pollen. Afterwards thi^ 
seed was collected separately and in the spring of 1897 sown in 
a flower bed between other beds sown with seeds of the normal 
Oenothera Lamarckiana. Immediately subsequent to germina- 
tion no difference was apparent, but when the third and fourth 
leaves unfolded it suddenly became evident that a new species had 
originated. All plants differed from their neighbors, were more 
robust and bore broader, darker leaves. Though two tO' three 
hundred in number, all evidently belonged to one distinct type. 
Not having at the time, paid special attention to the mother plant, 
I was unfortunately unable to compare the latter with the type at 
this age. But when, during the summer, first the stems and 
afterwards the flowers and the fruits, made their appearance, the 
agreement became perfect. All specimens closely resembled the 
mother, and together they formed the new species, Oenothera 
gigas. This species therefore was at once constant, even though 
it found its origin in but a single specimen. Evolved with a sud- 
den leap from the mother species, differing from it in general ap- 
pearance as well as in the character of its various organs, it re- 
mained unchanged. It was no rough cast which selection had to 
correct and polish before it coukl represent a distinct form; the 
neW type was at once perfect and needed no smoothing, no cor- 
rection. 



30 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

My other species originated in the same manner, suddenly and 
without transitions. We may therefore assume that species, 
when growing wild, do not appear gradually, slowly adapting 
them.selves to existing conditions, but suddenly, entirely inde- 
pendent of their surroundings. Species are not arbitrary groups, 
as Bailey, and with him many others, believed should be deduced 
from the theory of descent, but sharply defined types, unmistak- 
able, for one who has once seen them. 

Each species is an individual, says Gillot, having a birth, a 
lease of life,, and an inevitable death. From the moment of birth 
until the time of death, it remains the same. Only when taking 
this point of view can we reconcile our daily experience of the 
constancy of species with the theory of descent. This is fully 
confirmed by the results of my experiments. 

If species originated gradually, in the course of centuries, their 
birth could never be observed. Were it so, this most interesting 
phenomenon would forever remain hidden from us. Happily it 
is not so. Each species as soon as born takes its place as peer in 
the ranks of the older species. This birth may be directly ob- 
served. One can even collect the seeds in which the new types 
are hidden, and one can observe the first steps in the develop- 
ment of these types. Literally the new species originates at the 
time of the formation of the seed, but it is born only at the time 
of germination. But at this period it is not recognizable as such ; 
this only becomes possible after the first leaves have unfolded. 
The plant can then be photographed, and in this manner we may 
preserve the type as soon as it becomes discernible and recogniz- 
able. In fact, one can study the birth of a species as readily as 
that of any individual, be it plant or animal. 

Any advance in our knowledge depends on the possibility of 
seeing species originate. Of course this does not refer to present 
species. Such a thing would be as impossible, as absurd, as ex- 
pecting to witness the birth of an individual already inhabiting 
the earth. The species living at present are too old. But they 
may give rise to new ones. There seems to be sufficient reason 
for suspecting that this is happening at this very moment, and in 
our immediate surroundings, only we are not aware of it. SucH 
cases must therefore be searched for with great care and patience. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 3 I 

Once found, they must be carefully and extensively studied. The 
one case which I have mentioned here shows sufficiently the 
great treasure of new facts which lies within our reach. All that 
is necessary is to overcome the first difficulties.— Frc>;/z- an article 
by Prof. Hugo de Vrics in Science. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANICAL CLUB. 

When the charter of the American Botanical Club closed, on 
the 1 6th of August, there were more than half a hundred mem- 
bers on its list. Around this nucleus there is certain to be form- 
ed a strong society that will prove its right to exist by many con- 
tributions to our knowledge of the plants. 

A friend of the club has offered two prizes to be awarded in 
June, 1903, for the best report submitted by a member. To this 
the publishers of the American Botanist add three more mak- 
ing a total of five. The first prize will consist of a copy of either 
Gray's, Wood's or Btitton's ^lanual as the winner may select. 
The second prize is a copy of ''Botanizing" by Pl'of. W. W. 
Bailey. The other prizes are three yearly subscriptions to this 
journal to be awarded to the three next best reports. All reports 
received up to June 15, 1903, will be included in the contest. The 
committee of award will consist of the president of the club and 
two other botanists to be selected later. Reports will be judged 
according to the following value: Originality of subjects 15, 
method of treatment 10, literary style 12, neatness of report 3. 
The reports may deal with any subject in botany that has inter- 
ested the writer and each member may submit as many different 
reports on different subjects as he likes; all will be entered in the 
competition. It is probable that a report detailing the study of a 
single species will be most likely to be a prize winner, because this 
phase offers the most opportunities for original investigation, but 
it is possible that a study of some point in ecology;, in the distri- 
bution of plants, or in the structure of plants will carry off the 
palm. Reports are to be submitted to the president in the usual 
way and are to become the property of the club. 

An article of the constitution provides that when there are at 
least five members of the club in one locality they may form a 



32 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



local branch. These branches are to be self-governing. Each 
will be named for a flower or some noted botanist to be selected 
by the members of the branch. Since there are several cities in 
which we have more than five members, it is expected that we 
will soon have several branches of the club. The club now has a 
membership in fifteen states. 

NOTE AND COMMENT. 

Wanted. — Short notes of interest to the general botanist are 
always in demand for this department. Our readers are invited 
to make this the place oi publication for their botanical items. 

WiNTERGREEN Berries.— In the neighborhood of Philadelphia 
these little berries (Gaultheria procumbens) ripen in September 
and October, and they are sold on the street fruit dealers' stalls 
at the same time with chestnuts. I gathered a couple today ( Sep- 
tember 7) evidently of the new crop, about three quarters red and 
one-quarter white.~C F. Saunders 

Tuber Bearing LABiATES—Referring to your note on this sub- 
ject in the May issue of The American Botanist, I would men- 
tion Scutellaria parvula as an American tuber bearer in the mint 
family. It is a small plant, 4 or 5 inches high. At the one sta- 
tion where I have gathered it near Philadelphia, the root stock 
is sometimes beaded with a succession of the small tubers, remind- 
ing one of a section of a rude necklace.~C. F. Saunders. 

Reduction of Species in ANTENNARiA.~The lines separat- 
ing the species in certain genera have been drawn so taut in recent 
years that they have reached the point of rupture. It has often 
been prophesied that many of the "new species" would turn out 
to be founded upon insufiicient characters and this now seems 
coming true. Mr. Elias Nelson in the Botanical Gazette for Au- 
gust asserts that a large number of what' have been described as 
distinct species of Antennaria are not even worthy of sub-speciflc 
rank. Mr. Nelson's observations have been carefully made and 
his conclusions, will strike the majority of botanists as very sen- 
sible. 

Unusual Plant Names.~x\ glance through any extensive 
list of plant names will disclose many names that apparently bear 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



33 



no relationship to the plants that bear them. A further study, 
however, often brings out some obscure connection between thenri. 
One of the most prolific sources of astonishing common names is 
found in the attempt of the public to anglicize the scientific terms. 
To this is probably due the name coptide applied to the gold thread 
{Coptis trifolia) but how the trilliums become known as Ben- 
jamins or the round leaved wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia) 
acquired the name of copalm is not so clear. In C. H. Dodge's 
"Flora of St. Clair Co., Mich.," a large number of these curious 
names appear. 

The New Jersey tea (Ceanotlms Amcricaniis) is also called 
sprangles; the leather wood {Dirca pahistris) is khown as wi- 
copy, and the chicory {Cichorium intybiis) as bunk. Universe- 
vine is a new one for the bear-berry (Arctostaphyllos iiva-iirsa) 
and crackers for the huckleberry {Gaylussacia resin osa) . The 
wintergreen (Gaulthcria prociiinbcns) , which has its full share of 
intelligible names, has also to its credit jinks, drunkards, pippins 
and red pollom. More light upon the origin of these names is 
greatly desired. Can any O'f our readers help us ? 

Promoting the Usefulness of Parks. -The enjoyment of 
the populace in large country parks and forests, can be greatly 
promoted by allowing the picking of flowers and berries ; and this 
permission may be safely given, provided the plants are not dug 
up by the roots, either by design or through carelessness. So 
valuable is this privilege, that it is better to run some risk of the 
extermination of desirable growths, than tO' prohibit picking. It 
is of course possible tO' keep sowing the plants which are most apt 
to be picked, like the columbine, wild geranium, anemone and 
blue violet. Some fragrant things ought to be carefully raised in 
the parks expressly for the enjoyment of the people whoi discover 
them appearing in the season. —President Eliot of Harvard in 
Park and Cemetery. 

Birds and Berries. — Apropos of Almon N. Rood's query in 
the April number of this journal as to what birds eat the berries 
of the winter-berry (Ilex verticillata) the following upon Brit- 
ish birds and berries from Nature Notes will be be of interest. 
"From personal observation I have found that song thrushes and 
the rarer missel thrushes eat freely holly berries, a small tree in 



34 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



our garden being stripped of its fruit in the mild open weather of 
late autumn. The missel thrush also likes yew and rowan (moun- 
tain ash) berries. Black birds sink with outstretched wings upon 
bushes too slender for comfortable perching and devour the black 
berries of the bay and hard unfleshy laurustinus berries. The 
rose hips as soon as soft, hang sucked flat by the birds. In autumn 
too, I was surprised to see a robin eating myrtle berries.'' Anoth- 
er correspondent mentions wood pigeons eating the berries of the 
ivy. 

What is the Jackson ViNE?~In the Southern United States 
the make up of the Christmas decorations differs in several par- 
ticulars from those farther North. The holly takes the place of 
spruce and pine, and the club-mosses or running pines (Lycopo- 
dium) are seldom seen. For festoons, a vine called Jackson vine 
is used. It has lanceolate, evergreen leaves and seems a very 
good substitute for the running pine. The botanical name for 
the vine is apparently not very well known. In appear- 
ance the plant is much like a Smilax. Britton and Brown credit 
the matrimony vine (Lycium vulgare) with the name of Jackson 
vine, but this is not the Southern plant of that name. Can some 
of our readers throw more light on the subject? 

Rosette Plants and Protection From Cold. — Rosette 
plants exhibit some interesting adaptations for protection from 
cold, such as the geotropic curvature of the leaves and the develop- 
ment of red color. If a leaf of a rosette of smooth mullein 
{Verbascurn hlattcria) or of the common teasel (Dipsacus sylves- 
tris) be examined late in October, it will be seen that it is pressed 
tightly against the surface of the ground and if the entire plant 
is dug up and placed in a collecting case for a few hours the leaves 
will be found turned downward so far that they are parallel with 
the tap root and form a cup around it. During the same season 
of the year the leaves of many rosette plants are quite red or 
purple. This is due to a substance known as anthocyan. It is 
the same red coloring matter that is present in the unfolding 
leaves and twigs of red maple {Acer ruhrimv) and soft maple 
{Acer saccharinum) . Anthocyan changes some of the rays of 
light, which pass through it into heat, and of much importance in 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 35 

the economy of the plant during the cold days of autumn and 
spring. — Ohio Naturalist. 

The Flowers of Cryptogams. -One of the popular distinc- 
tions between the flowering plants and the higher crytogams, is 
that the latter have no flowers. In the recently issued ''Organ- 
ography," however, Goebel extends the term flower to cover tuch 
structures as the fruiting spikes of Equisitiim, Lycopodium, Sel- 
aginella and others, a flower being defined as ''a shoot beset with 
sporophylls." 

Color not Always of Use. -It is generally conceded that the 
colors of flowers have been developed as an aid to cross-pollena- 
tion, being so many advertisements for the bee—and in like man- 
ner the colors and juicy pulp of berries have been construed as 
aids to the dispersal of the seeds, by being attractive to birds and 
mammals, there are, however, numerous berries, both juicy 
and of brilliant color, that seem never to appeal to 
the folk in fur or feather. Such are the berries of twisted 
stalk (Sfrepfopiis roseas) , Clintonia and many others belonging 
tothe lily family. These hangs on their stems ungathered until 
wind and weather sow them in the surrounding soil. 

Formation of Leaves in Water— ^lany water plants bear 
two sorts of leaves, those under water being usually thinner and 
much more divided than those produced in air. Xo doubt many 
have wondered as to the cause of this, for it will not do to say 
simply that the one sort dift'ers from the other because produced 
under water. We must know the reason why. It has been fre- 
quently suggested that the shape of the sub-aqueous leaves is due 
to a lack of light, but according to the Botanical Gazette an ela- 
borate series of experiments made by B. ]\IcCallum upon the 
mermaid weed (Proserpinacca palustris), has shown that aside 
from retarding the growth of all parts of the plant, a lack of light 
has no effect. No matter under what conditions grown the aerial 
leaves were broad and nearly entire, while those under water were 
always of the well-known dissected form. It was found possible 
to change the leaves from one form to the other in four inter- 
nodes of growth, and to produce stems with se^'eral zones of each 
form alternating. Further experiments proved that the change 



36 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

in form is not due to nutrition, temperature or salts and there is 
still some doubt as to the real cause of the changes, but it now 
seems settled that it is not due to lack of light. 

New Use of White- Wood.-- According to the Medical Re- 
cord, the white-wood {Liriodendron tiilipifera) is an efficient 
cure for the tobacco habit. The part used is the inner bark 
which may be chewed fresh, or powdered and mixed with liquor- 
ice and sugar and formed into tablets to be taken whenever a crav- 
ing for tobacco is experienced. 

The Number of Cactus Species.— Many people who have 
been acquainted only with the prickly pear and the cholla cactus 
of the plains, perhaps to the detriment of their epidermis, will be 
surprised to learn that over one thousand valid species exist, to 
which more than three thousand names have been applied by 
botanists and horticulturists. — IVfst American Scientist. 

Use of Mosses in MiLLiNERY.—Cora H. Clarke notes in the 
September Bryologist that two species of moss have been found 
in use in Boston by milliners. One species, conjectured tO' be 
Hypiimn purnm of Europe, is made into a sort of flat braid three 
inches wide and sells for twenty-five cents a yard; the other is 
formed into a sort of cord half an inch in diameter which looks 
like green chenille. This sells for ten cents a yard. The species 
used seems toi be another foreigner, Neckera crispa. 

The California Poppy.— More than one student has wonder- 
ed at the unpronounceable botanical name of the California poppy 
Eschscholtzia, so guiltless of any relationship with the Latin from 
which most botanical names spring full-fledged. It appears that 
we owe it to the name of the first botanist who classified it, one 
Eschscholtz. Yet he was not the first discoverer, for centuries 
before, the Spanish mariners, even while far out at sea, had their 
attention arrested by what appeared to be sheets of golden flame 
spread over this unknown land towards which they were sailing. 
And when they came nearer they saw that this strange phenomen- 
on was caused by millions upon millions of these golden flowers, 
"blazing along the Pacific coast, embroidering the green foot-hills 
of the snow-capped Sierra Madres, transforming acres and acres 
of treeless plains into royal cloth of gold.'' —N cw Century 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 37 

Sterility of Hybrids. — Scientific men are fond of throw- 
ing it up to practical people that they are behind the times ; but 
devotees of science are often among the crowd that live m glass 
houses and yet throw stones. Horticulturists have long ago 
learned that hybrids are as fertile as their parents ; and orchids, 
gesneriaceous plants, and many other classes furnish abundant 
evidence. But that hybrids are sterile, or generally sterile, is still 
a doctrine on w^hich many pretty ''theories" are founded by leaders 
in science. — Meehans Monthly. 

The Tw^o Forms of Virginia CREEPER.-The typical Virginia 
creeper {Ampelopsis qiiinquefolia) has its tendrils tipped with 
sucker-like discs, by which the vine is anchored firmly to its sup- 
port. This form is supposed to be the common one in Eastern 
America. Further west there is a form without discs which by 
some is considered a distinct species and by others only a variety 
of the first. This form is called variously Engelmanni, laciniata, 
hirsiita and vitacea. Additional observations are necessary to 
define the exact ranges of each form. 

Erroneous Ideas of Botany.~I will tell you where, in my 
opinion, a mistake is made iiow-a-days. Children in schools are 
led to think that they have mastered botany when they have gone 
through ''Botany in Fourteen A\^eeks." After the majority leave 
school, not proceeding to higher schools, they think no more of 
the study but relegate it to the limbo in which rest the multiplica- 
tion table and common fractions. A single flower or two, well 
taught in regard to every organ and adaptation to its circum- 
stances, would be worth the whole of the text books. I often 
come across young people, in my rambles for flowers and rarely 
miss a chance of having a talk with them. Too frequently I hear 
with an inward groan the remark : "Oh ! I studied botany when I 
was at school." That settles the matter and they look with pitying 
eye on me when I say that I am studying botany now and hope 
to know something about it some day. One graceless young 
"future president" had the sympathy to remark : 'T suppose they 
did not teach botany in your school --Robert Blight, Norristoimi, 
Pa. 



EDITORIAL. 



At first thought, it seems preposterous to assert that a single 
seed has within it the possibiHties for a whole summer of original 
investigation ; but the longer one considers the matter, the more 
certain it becomes that this is so. As soon as the cotyledons have 
shaken off the seed-coats the mysteries begin. The garden let- 
tuce is ordinarily an unattractive plant that seems to grow only to 
be eaten, but when one has seen a bed of lettuce seedlings asleep 
with every pair of seed leaves folded together, the plant has a new 
charm for him that does not come by way of the table. The 
thought that Tennyson addressed to the 'Tlant in the crannied 
wall" must ever recur to the speculative botanist and spur him on 
to new endeavors. We do not care so much why or how a plant 
got its name; our queries are, how did it come to be ; why is it as 
it is; and to what purpose are these various modifications of stem 
and leaf and flower and seed vessel. No one can find this out about 
a single plant in any one summer, nor yet many summers ; but he 
can come nearer to the truth than he is at present. It is not neces- 
sary to go to distant lands for such study— the lawn, the garden, 
the weedy roadside furnish material in plenty—but just as a 
strange plant in the midst of familiar ones attracts the most atten- 
tion, a new plant is most likely to prove best for study. At this 
season when every field and thicket is full of seedpods, our readers 
should not forget to gather seeds of the more attractive flowers 
for exchange with distant botanists. Few phases of botany give 
more pleasure than the rearing of a strange plant from a seedling 
to maturity. 



The article upon the origin of species by mutation reprinted in 
this number is of value in confirming a theory previously held by 
many botanists, among whom the late Thomas Meehan was one 
of the foremost. The deeper we go intO' the subject, the more 
certain it appears that all species have been formed by a succes- 
sion of bounds rather than by slow gradations; but it is to be as- 
sumed that the new species formed differed more widely from 
the parent than the segregates of O'cnothcra Lamar ckiana, are 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



39 



known to do. We should be inclined to call these latter segre- 
gates, forms, and to deny them even the rank of a sub-species. It 
seems quite probable that every good species is like O. Lamar cki- 
ana, constantly throwing out these embryo species ; indeed the 
whole theory of evolution is based upon this supposition. Dar- 
win was of the opinion that the changes were small and succes- 
sive; the later idea is that they are much greater and the forms fix- 
ed when once a change is made. In either event, as shown by the 
article in question, unless the conditions are favorable, the tenta- 
tive species perish and leave no sign. The difference is princi- 
pally that the Danvinian theory conceives of the plants varying, 
because of influences from the outside, while the new one assumes 
that plants constantly vary but that outside influences are neces- 
sary to preserve the variations. It seems that here we have a 
very good criterion for the determination of species. If any of 
these new forms could live and thrive under normal conditions, 
we would call them species ; if not, then they would be classed as 
varieties or forms. None of these segregates of O. Lamar ckiana 
were able to form separate colonies, even in soil untenanted by 
the original species. It would occur to most students therefore, 
that they are merely equivalent to what are called "forms" in 
America. The whole subject is one of much interest, and botan- 
ists may find in the cultivation of other mutable species, a field for 
much original research. 

The official organ of the ''Wildflower Preservation Society of 
America" makes a bad matter worse by explaining that as soon 
as this second society was organized, it invited the original Bos- ^ 
ton Society to become one of its local branches ! Some people 
w^ll be inclined to wonder if the American Forestry Association 
and other societies received a similar invitation. 



The Plant World, Washington, D. C, offers a prize of $10.00 
for the best cover design for the magazine submitted before Nov. 
I, 1902. 

Mr. C. G. Lloyd has just issued a 44 page pamphlet illustrated 
with 80 figures on the Geasters or earth-stars of North America . 



40 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

It is safe to say that no single student of the fungi is doing more 
than Mr. Lloyd to advance our knowledge of this group of plants, 
He has recently erected a new four story building of brick and 
stone in Cincinnati to be used as a museum and library which is 
estimated to be capable of holding nearly five hundred thousand 
specimens of puff-balls and allied plants. 

Almost without exceptioii our out-of-door books have been 
written in the Northeastern States and treat of the features of 
that part of the world written from the Yankee point of view. In 
''Next to the Ground" by Martha McCuUough Williams we get 
a view of the seasons as they pass in the South, by one who has 
grown up in such surroundings and is thoroughly familiar with 
what she writes about. In the ''foreword" the author says that 
"as one star differeth from another in glory, so does one field or 
wood or hedgerow differ from another." How much her fields 
differ from those of the New England and Middle States one per- 
ceives before he goes very far in the book. The very methods of 
tilling the soil and gathering the crops are different. In the chap" 
ters on "Ploughing," "Shooting" and the like, the author shows 
a knowledge of the subject that would do' credit to a man while 
in other chapters the habits of insect, beast and bird are entertain- 
ingly set forth. She has even succeeded in making a most inter- 
esting chapter on "The Hog." When she touches upon the 
plants it is from an original point of view. "A clown among 
oaks is the black-jack, the genuine scrub oak. The trunk is so 
crooked woodsmen vow it takes it half an hour after it has been 
cut down to find out how it can lie still. It is knottier than it is 
crooked. * As it grows, small branches develop all round, 
standing stiffly out at almost exact right angles. After a few- 
years they die, but do not break off and have done with it. In- 
stead they shed twigs, bark and sap-wood, yet persist as to the 
heart, standing out all along the trunk like bluntish iron pegs." 
The nature lover will certainly find this an agreeable change from 
the average book on such subjects. It is published by McClure, 
Phillips & Co., New York at $1.20 net. 



THE MAGAZINE FOR THE YOUNG 
NATURALIST 

The Junior Naturalist 

A sample copy may be had for the asking 

Address: THE JUNIOR NATURALIST, 

1079 S. Avers Ave., Chicago. 

Ozark Ginseng Gardens 

FOR SALE — A fine selection of new ginseng 
seed and bedded plants, prices on application. Also 
have one ginseng garden for sale very cheap. 

C. M. RICHARDS. 

Birch Tree, Mo. 



Beautiful Wild Flowers 

To those interested in wild flowers I would call 
attention to my work. I have made a specialty of 
painting the wild flowers of Arkansas in water 
colors. For one dollar will send plate 10 x 14 in. 
with spray of azalia, passion flower, or morning 
glory painted fi-om life. Have also the above named 
flowers in panels 8^x35 in. Many other vari- 
eties and sizes. For price list and information 
address with stamp. 

MISS ORRIE RILEY, 

Hot Springs, 
Garland Co., Arkansas. 



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THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

Vol. III. September 15, 1902. No. 3 

SOME NATIVE PLANTS OF VALUE. 
By Charles Turnbull. 

** The clustering- sumach flamed along a ledge, 
The life of ruddy Autumn filled its veins 

Deep growing masses glinting in the sun 
Redder than the wild strawberry, where it stains 

The woodland ways, mid light and shadow spun; 
A gorgeous dream, a color-draught divine. 

Spilled on the golden afternoon like wine." 

In our autumnal perambulations we cannot fail to note the 
ruddy leaves and dark crimson spires of fruit in the spreading 
clumps of sumac {Rhus), strewn over the gray, boulder-covered 
hill. In that season when the bluejay screams in the wood and 
the nuts rattle down, it approaches the maple in the ruddiness of 
its foliage ; but in the winter, no plant looks more desolate than it, 
standing forlorn and bare in the past season's dry and withered 
grass. It appears to be a gregarious member of the plant world 
and the colonies occupying long-abondoned fields or rocky hill- 
sides, render considerable areas quite impenetrable. That solitary 
shrub is no doubt a hermit, or perhaps a pioneer that has thus 
boldly established himself and intends forming a new colony. 

The commonest of the genus is the staghorn sumac {R. typhina) 
It is also the largest, often attaining the height of twenty feet, 
with extremely crooked, angular branches. The common name 
staghorn has reference to this very angularity. The tannin of 
the leaves imparts the tint of the brown hillsides to delicate leath- 
ers, but this principle is not so abundant as in the Italian sumac 
{R. coriaria). The wood is a splendid dark yellow having fine 
distinct markings and used sometimes in inlaid work. The spec- 
ies copalina or black sumac yields a kind of varnish. 



42 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

After the trees are denuded of their scarlet splendor, and the 
woods are bleak and bare, we wander gravely through the groves 
or over the dusty roads, seeking almost vainly for some reminder 
of departed summer, a belated aster, a turtle head, or a frost-nip- 
ped gentian. The dark green Christmas fern (Polystichum 
acrostichoides) , has a very certain beauty new, and how familiar 
the rough twisting rope of wild grape appears. In summer its 
foilage we never saw — only the brown shaggy vine—and its ap- 
pearance is now unchanged. By the aid of a friendly chestnut, it 
rears its head so loftily and ripens its fruit with the fruit of the 
giants of the wood. It is to be regretted that sometime, no doubt 
through fear of a tumble to earth, it is induced to lay too firm and 
fast a grip on its host, often so tightly that it slowly strangles its 
friend, like a giant in the toils of a serpent. 

The flowers are green and unconspicuous, but they amply com- 
pensate for their lack of beauty by their fullness of fragrance. A 
grape or a basswood may be perceived by its fragrance a consid- 
erable distance away, and there is probably no other wild vege- 
table odors so intoxicatingly fragrant and possessing their power 
of expansion. 

A common wild grape is ( Vistis labritsca), and one of the most 
valuable of the species indiginous to this continent. The dandies 
of the gardens and vineyards trace their ancestry to this honest 
backwoods stock. By reason of its hardiness and freedom from 
disease it is even replacing the European species, Vinefera, in the 
vineyards of the old world. The rich expressed juice, after a 
proper sojourn in the cellar is converted into good prime wine and 
the excellence of the crushed skins as a jelly or tart iieeds no com- 
mendation. Old fashioned cider-makers maintain that a bunch 
of the small frost grapes {V. cordifolia) , dropped into a barrel of 
fresh sweet cider mellows its flavor and prevents hardening. 

Along the thicket lined roads towards the latter part of the 
month of June, the breeze is laden with the fragrance of the elder 
{Samhitciis.) A week later the ground is cloaked with the cast- 
off corollas, and by the last of August the full clusters of blue 
black fruit are proper for manufacture into the country house- 
wife's aperient and diuretic elderberry wine. Wood of two 
years' growth is adaptable to the making of cobbler's pegs. The 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



43 



pithy first year wood provides a weapon for young Nimrod, the 
elder-gun or pop gini. The old Romans constructed a musi- 
cal instrument, the sambuca from its wood and this circumstance 
gives the genus the name of Sambiicus. 
Hartford, Conn. 



AILANTHUS. 
By Prof. \A^illiam Whitman Bailey. 

In describing this exotic tree, now so well established and so 
familiar, the late Dr. Asa Gray said : ''It is called by Arabs the 
tree of Heaven, but is redolent of any other odors than those of 
Paradise." His remarks has reference to the atrocious smell of 
the staminate or male tree when in flower. The pistillate tree, 
for some reason less often seen, is on the contrary odorless. One 
knowing this, can freely grow the tree with all its advantages and 
noiie of its drawbacks. The good qualities consist in the extreme 
rapidity of growth, the comparative cleanliness and freedom from 
attack of insects and the picturesque and almost tropical beauty of 
the plant. 

So vigorous is the tree, and so energetic in spreading itself, that 
the future New Zealander fresh from taking Kodak views of 
St. Paul's cathedral, and gazing meditatively upon what remains 
of our Wall street, would, it is surmised, find New York over- 
grown with ailanthus. So light are the seeds—or rather fruits, 
winged like those of the ash, that they fly about every w^iere, and 
sprout on roofs, in gutters and at every point of vantage, 
"Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed 
The air is delicate." 

Let a street or park be deserted and at once it is over-run with 
ailanthus. Indeed, the tree has been employed on the western 
plains to insure a rapid arboreous growth. 

It has been spoken of as a clean tree, little attacked by insects. 
While that is true of some parts of the country, about New York 
in its wider sense, we find the ailanthus fed upon by a large, and 
to the nervous, a repellant looking caterpillar. This is the hand- 
some larva of Attaciis Cynthia, the well known silk worm of Japan 
and China and o^ne of the most superb of moths, measuring sev- 



44 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

eral inches across. This magnificent creature is painted with deH- 
cate shades and bands of oHve green and lavender, and is a joy 
to behold. The caterpillar is equally beautiful after the observer 
rids himself of inherited dread and prejudice. These moths ab- 
solutely swarm in certain years in Greater New York. We have 
never seen them in Rhode Island, though the tree is not infreciueni 
in our city streets, and is abundant about Narragansett Pier, 
Newport, and Seaconnet. 

Its tropical beauty has been spoken of. This is due to a cer- 
tain cjuaint and apple-tree-like pose of the trunks, and to the ample 
sumac-like pinnate foliage. These compound leaves are often 
two feet long. The fruit as it ripens, in most places, becomes 
yellowish and rather attractive. At Gloucester, Mass., and on 
Cape Anne generally, I have been surprised to see it of a magni- 
ficent red, as fine as that of the mountain ash. Salt air seems to 
affect color, as witness the superior brilliance of roses at Newport. 

The plants kept low, and grown with spiraeas, clethra, 
and other flowering shrubs form an exquisite border. 
Its German name is Gotter-baum, ''tree of the Gods," 
said to be a translation of it's Indian name, ailanto. The French 
call it Vernis du Japon. We occasionally observe trees thirty or 
forty feet in height. In Europe, where it has been grown longer, 
the tree is sometimes fully sixty feet high. The family Simaru- 
baceae to which the ailanthus belongs, has with us no other repre- 
sentative, though the rue, the prickly ash and even the orange and 
lemon are not distant relations. 

Brozmi University, Providence, R. I. 



An American lover of flowers, on visiting England for the 
first time soon notices two interesting facts, namely, that many of 
our favorite garden plants grow there by the road, while inside 
the wall not a few of our common wildings are carefully cherished 
in cultivation. Thus in an English countryside purple foxglove, 
Johnny- jump-ups and scabious are plebeians of the fence rows 
and pastures, while goldenrod and five-leaved American ivy and 
rhododendron are aristocrats of the gardens. — 6^. 



I 



HABITS OF THE TWIN FLOWER. 
By Elsie ^Murray. 

"Beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds 
The slight Linnaea hangs its twin-born heads." 

quotes 'Mrs. Dana; and there is more about the "deep, cool, 
mossy woods of the North'' that are its favored haunts. Ever 
since I first read those lines I have been looking for the Linnaea 
in the deepest, coolest, mossiest woods I know. I suppose it is 
the irony of Fate, that in all the twenty odd square miles thus ex- 
plored, I should have found it by dusty roadsides only, in some 
dozen different places—and by the merest chance at that—with 
seldom even a remnant of woodland behind it, to form the back- 
ground, fancy had pictured. 

Once found, however, it may easily be forgiven the most pro- 
saic surroundings. Surely the favor of the great Linnaeus was 
not misplaced in this charming little flower, with its tiny drooping 
bells, whose downy rose-pink lining and w^hose delicate helitrope 
odor one must nevertheless, bend low to notice and appreciate. 

My acquaintance with the Linnaea in my own locality— a river 
county in Northern Pennsylvania, where it had long been pro- 
claimed either extremely rare or extinct— runs back a few years 
only. Some years ago I discovered, in an old herbarium that I 
had collected on the nearby hills in my childhood, a. single spray 
of what proved to be the highly prized Linnaea. From that hour 
vague recollections of shadowy woods where as children we tore 
up great mats of the tiny creeper to weave into fairy wreaths, have 
haunted me, and June after June I have searched diligently, to 
find it at last by pure accident some three or four years ago, 
along one of the roadsides before mentioned. 

Such a brief acquaintance hardly affords a basis for the explana- 
tion of a fact in twin flower's life history that has recently come 
under my notice. During the second week of September, 1902, 
the Linnaea, in at least two spots several miles apart in my county, 
indulged itself in a second season of blooming. In so doing, did 
it obey a definitly fixed habit, or did it yield to an unusually favor- 
able season, and double its annual output of flowers ? About the 
same time, the Cornus paniculata and Houstonia caeridea also. 



46 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

set rather anonalously, tO' flowering again. But the case of the 
Linnaca seems the more phenomenal, in that its flowering season 
in June is extremely short in comparison with the others mention- 
ed. In a season which seems to have been unusually favorable to 
the wild flowers from the mountain laurel to the asters, it is pos- 
sible that the Linnaca gathered strength to double its 
flowering period. Did it do so through any considerable range 
of territory? Or was the occurrence noted simply a customary 
incident in the annual activities of the Linnaea, that had hitherto 
escaped my attention ? 

WINTER BLOOMING FLOWERS. 
By Ella F. jNIgsby. 

They are not all winter flowers that I shall tell of, for the 
shepherd's purse, chickweed and henbit also bloom in spring and 
summer. The henbit is of the mint family and would be thought 
a lovely flower if it were only larger. Probably you often see it 
by a brook and do not notice it. The tiny blossoms are clustered 
in a graceful whorl around the stem and are all of violet hue ex- 
cept the lower lip, which is white with purple or violet spots, 
''fairy favors" as Puck might call them. The leaves have a fresh 
aromatic odor and are prettily and variously shaped, the middle 
ones heart-shaped with scalloped edges like many geraniums. One 
may often find these dainty blossoms on a winter day. 

Another winter bloomer is the shepherd's purse, named from 
the odd three-cornered pouches of seed. It has a small white 
blossom. The little chickweed or starwort looks very fair 
when it covers the ground thickly with its small white stars in the 
most wintry season. No doubt it was one of these that John 
Burroughs speaks of as ''a microscopic white flower" which he 
found blooming near Washington in midwinter. 

Skunk cabbage and witch hazel belong to cold weather. The 
buds of the first are formed early and stand ready in winter for 
the first possible moment to unfold. They grow^ in swamps and 
their leaves show 'like so many great emeralds above the black 
ooze." Bees welcome the blossoms, and get a good supply of 
sweetness from the pollen of the large flowers before even the 
arbutus makes the air delicious with hidden clusters. The leaves 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 47 

of the witch hazel fall early, and its blossoms are seen on bare 
branches. ''It is curious to notice this tough, angular, ugly skele- 
ton of a shrub, studded with yellow-green flowers, whose petals 
are like ribbons and shine against the sun as golden stars," Thor- 
eau says that while the tall hazels are bare of foliage, he foiuid 
leaves on the low bushes as full of color as the blossoms, some 
clear lemon yellow inside the bush and a richer hue outside, while 
others were crimson, or green veined with gold. 

The yellow disks of the dandelion may be found all the winter 
long in sheltered places, cuddled close and flat against the bosom 
of Mother Earth like a timid child. It does this to retain warmth 
as the winter honeysuckle covers its buds with close-fitting scale? 
and the early hepatica swathes its nurslings in woolly or fuzzy 
wrappers. 

Lynchburg, Va. 



NOTE AND COMMENT. 

Wanted. — Short notes of interest to the general botanist are 
always in demand for this department. Our readers are invited 
to make this the place of publication for their botanical items. 

A Few Beets.-- A pile of beets 15 feet deep, 120 feet wide and 
a quarter of a mile long was to be seen at a Colorado sugar fac- 
tory recently. This beats the beet record for the season. 

Staghorn Sumac— The common name of Rhus typhina is us- 
ually supposed to have been given in reference to the soft velvety 
covering of the young branches like the budding horns of a deer. 
In this issue another origin for the name is suggested, which is 
equally appropriate. 

Irregular Occurrences of Gentian. -The beautiful fring- 
ed gentian (crinitai) is very abundant in my locality; but blos- 
soms are comparatively few on alternate years. Is it so else- 
where? /. A. Bates So. Roydston, Mass. [The plant seems 
to vary its behavior with the locality. We have yet to find out 
why it is not so common in some years as in others.~E,D.] 

A Seed DEFiNED.—Most of us know a seed when w^e see it, but 
to give a definition that will exactly describe a seed is not easy . 
Here is one taken from the September Botanical Ga-zette. ''A seed 



48 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

is an ultimate, trigenerational, symbiotic unit in the plant life-his- 
tory, integrated from tissues and structures belonging to two 
sporophytic generations and the intervening gametophytic phase." 

Does Selaginella Bear Seeds ?~The Selaginellas are among 
the higher cryptogams and so of course do not normally bear 
seedsi Certain megasporangia, however, have been observed to 
remain for a long time on the plants, and in this condition, their 
spores having germinated and the eggs having been fecundated, 
they assume the character of seeds according toi Prof. Conway 
Mac Millan. 

Variation in PLANTS.—Variations in shape, color and size 
of plants, flowers and fruits do certainly sometimes result from 
outside influences as fertilizing wild flowers with old tin cans will 
prove. Some limited observations have suggested the question 
if position on the plant does not cause some of this variation. Is 
the lower, first ripening fruit (e. g. tomato or pea) usually the 
largest and best or nearest to the type of the improved variety? 
--/. A. Bates, So. Roydston, Mass. 

The Fruit of American Yew. —The fruit of the ground hem- 
lock or American yew {Tarns Canadensis) is usually regarded as 
poisonous. This has kept most botanists from tasting it and the 
fact does not seem to be generally known that the scarlet pulp sur- 
rounding the seed is quite sweet. Although the belief in the poi- 
sonous properties of this plant is widespread, the makers of our 
botanies are silent on the stibject. Can any of our readers tell 
whether it is really poisonous or not ? 

Large Forest Tree NuRSERiES.—According to Forestry and 
Irrigation the State of New York has established two nurseries 
for growing young forest trees which are of note from the num- 
ber of plants they will contain. One in the Catskill region is 
planned for raising two million seedlings ; the other in the Adiron- 
dacks will be capable of growing three million. The trees are to 
be used in the State's re-foresting work. Tavo parties are now in 
the forests attempting to gather enough seed of the species desired 
to fill the nurseries. 

Unusual Plant NAMES.-Referring to the puzzling plant 
names in the August number. Rev. James A. Bates of South Roy- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 49 

alston, Mass., writes as follows regarding the term/ 'crackers" ap- 
plied to the huckleberry. ''We call the black huckleberry {Gay- 
lussaccia resinosa) 'black snaps.' Eat them and the seeds snap. 
They are now (Sept. 26) just passing their prime with us— the 
last of our edible berries except the cranberry and wintergreen." 
Without doubt ''crackers" refers to these" same snapping seeds. 
As to universe vine applied to the bearberry {Arctostaphyllos iiva- 
ursa) it is probably another popular attempt at making English 
out of the specific name. 

Nomenclature and Taxes.— There is in Erance a positive 
prohibition of the general cultivation of tobacco plants, the grow- 
ing and selling of tobacco being a Government monopoly. This 
prohibition applies to gardens and greenhouses, and no ornamen- 
tal uses may be made of the Nicotianas, notwithstanding that all 
are not used for the manufacture of "the weed." A curious result 
of botanical revision complicates matters. Nicotiana colossea of 
Andre is thus excluded from gardens, although not used in manu- 
facture. It was formerly known as Lehrnannia colossea, Spren- 
g-el. The question may be asked, could the plant be grown if the 
old time nomenclature had been maintained? The grouping to- 
gether of closely allied genera is responsible. — Indian Gardening. 

Which is the Lightest Wood?— Cannot someone settle the 
question as to which is the lightest wood? Lcitncria floridana 
stands .207 and Ochroma lagopus has been reported both as .25 
and as . 12. And is Condela ferria surely the heaviest— at 1.302? 
O. W. Barrett, Mayaguejj, Porto Rico. [The Elorida lightwood 
(Leitneria Floridana) has thus far been regarded as the lightest 
known wood. The wood of the roots is said to have a specific 
gravity of .151. Since it can not readily be imagined just how 
light this is, it may be added that common cork has a specific 
gravity of .24, the willows and poplars range from .37 to .60, the 
white cedar stands at .332, the white oak at. 747 and some of 
the hickories at .83— the latter four times as heavy as lightwood.— 
Ed.] 

Inaccurate Botany.— If one would have proof of how much 
the botanical manuals and even our popular books are made in 
the herbarium instead of the field, let him compare their state- 
ments about plants with the plants themselves. Take the berry 



50 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

of the false Solomon's-seal {Sinilacina raccmosa) for instance. 
All the books from Britton to Dana, including Gray, Wood, 
Lounsberry and no one knows how many more, speak of the berry 
as being pale red speckled with purple. F. Schuyler Mathews 
seems to be the only one who has really described the berry as it 
is. He says "The berries, smaller than peas, are at first green- 
ish, then yellowish white, speckled with madder brown and finally 
in late September, a dull ruby-red of translucent character." This 
is exactly the case. AA^hen the berries are really ripe they are un- 
spotted. Those who have described them as speckled have seen 
only unripe fruit ! 

A Poisonous HoRSETAiL.~The V'ermont Agricultural Experi- 
ment Station has published as Bulletin No. 95 (June, 1902) an 
interesting report by F. A. Rich and L. R. Jones, on the reputed 
poisonous properties of the common meadow^ horsetail (Eqiiise- 
tum arvense) , often known among Vermont farmers as foxtail . 
Facts personally gathered during several years and the results of 
experiments conducted at the State Station at Burlington lead the 
authors to aver that this common plaiit when dried, as in hay, is 
dangerously poisonous to horses, causing death if its use is persist- 
ed in. An odd fact, w^hich the report mentions, is that horses will 
develop a depraved appetite for the equisetum and eat it in prefer- 
ence to good timothy or even grain. There is no evidence that 
the green plant eaten in pasture affects them injuriously. Cows 
eat the horsetail hay with apparent impunity, but the testimony 
with regard to sheep is contradictory. 

The "Ornithologist and BoTANiST."~Ten years ago, there 
w-as published in Binghamton, a monthly journal devoted to birds 
and flowers called the Ornithologist and Botanist. The combin- 
ed ages of editor and publisher were less than forty years, and 
one year of that particular brand of "the strenuous life" was 
enough to satisfy. There still remain several sets of this volume 
complete except the first three numbers, and the contents are still 
of interest. The publication was the first "official organ" of the 
Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter. On this account it is possi- 
ble some of our readers would like a set since most of the chapter 
members are on our subscription lists. We therefore ofTer to 
send a set of the journal (72 pages) to anyone w^ho will send us 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 5 I 

ten cents in stamps to pay for postage and the time required in 
going up into the attic where they are stored after them. Ad- 
dress The American Botanist. 

Mulberries and TniMBLEBERRiES.—lMy mother, who was a 
New England woman, states that in Xew Hampshire and ^lass- 
achusetts, when she was a child, the red raspberries were called 
mulberries, and the blackberries thimbleberries. Also the com- 
mon hickory nut was there called walnut and the butternut was 
called oilnut, on account of its oily nature.— £/;;/a lona Locke, Ber- 
lin, Wis. 

AsPLENiuM Ebenoides A HYBRiD.~It has often been suggest- 
ed that this fern is a hybrid between the walking fern {Cainpto- 
soriis rhizopliyllus) and the ebony spleenwort {Aspleniiim ehen- 
eum) , but proof has always been lacking. This is not the case, 
at present, for Miss ^largaret Slosson has recently successfully 
crossed these two species, producing forms similar to the form in 
question. One of the remarkable things connected with the ex- 
periment, is that the species crossed belong to different genera. 
It is also interesting to note that the very species suggested as the 
probable parents, prove to be the right ones. 

The Opening of a Moonflower.— It is seldom one can "see a 
plant grow," but it is sometimes possible to perceive the movement 
of an opening blossom. Last evening we watched the moonllow- 
ers open. At half past five there were several buds ready to open. 
At a quarter to seven they had changed butl ittle, but before seven 
o'clock two or three had opened to nearly or quite full. One 
opened slowly, but one could see a steady movement as the flower 
expanded ; others were helped by the wind blowing into them, so 
their movements were quicker and less continuous. It was a xtry 
interesting sight.—Ehna lona Locke, Berlin, Wis. 

Last Rose of SuMMER.~Mr. James A. Graves, Susquehanna, 
Pa., notes that in portions of Northern Pennsylvania the NeAV 
England aster {Aster Nova-Anglia-e) is much cultivated in door- 
yards and goes by the name of "the last rose of summer." In the 
same region the usual name of aster is seldom applied to this 
plant, probably being reserved for the exotics of the flower gar- 
den. Although single blossoms of cultivated asters outrival 



52 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



those of this hardy native, there are few plants of late summer 
that can be compared with a clump of it in full bloom. It is a de- 
sirable addition to any flower garden. 

More Extinct SPECiES.—Those not personally interested in 
the combat, must derive no little amusement from the species 
tinkering so much in evidence at present. The species makers 
are not having it all their own way, as at first, but as soon as one 
botanist has set up a long line of new species another of the same 
craft rises up and knocks them over. The latest to go are some 
twenty species of the genus Nemophila to which the well-known 
''baby-blue-eyes" belongs. H. P. Chandler says in the Septem- 
ber Botanical Gazette. "An almost infinite variation makes an 
accurate limitation of species absolutely impossible. Were these 
all described they would fill a volume, but nothing would be gain- 
ed thereby. Convenience should be the aim of classification and 
this aim is most effectually defeated by the multiplication of un- 
certain species." The opinions held upon this subvject by Mr. 
Chandler seem to be gaining ground among thoughtful botanists 
and a large number of our most cherished new species appear to 
be on the verge of extinction in consequence. 

How the Indian Pipe Lives.—Au interesting feature in its 
life history is the comparatively modern discovery that it is not, 
as formerly supposed, a saprophyte, living on humus deposited 
by decaying leaves ; but is, after all a root parasite, with a fungus 
for the host plant. For this the term symbiosis has been con- 
structed—literally, plants living together. But they do' more than 
this. It is supposed they are essential to each other's existence. 
This may be correct so far as the Monotropa is concerned. We 
find the dense ball of roots closely interwoven with the mycelium 
of a fungus—but evidently the same fungus is abundant in the rot- 
ting leaves around without any Indian pipe growing with them, 
and owing nothing to the "pipe" as symbiosis would imply. There 
is yet much to be learned about the behavior of these plants : Sar- 
codes sangiiinea, Hypopitys and Monotropa all seem to have their 
'elaborated food" from the same fungus and are yet all essential- 
ly different in color, and may therefore be reasonably charged 
with some hand in the elaboration— M^'^^Aan^.y Monthly 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 5^ 

The Opening of FLOWERS.-There still seems to be much to 
learn about the conditions which govern the opening and closing 
of certain flowers. The four o'clocks of our gardens are so nam- 
ed because they open very close to the hour of four in the after- 
noon, but late in summer, their ideas of time become sadly con- 
fused. They then are late in opening and do not close much be- 
fore noon the following day. The morning glories, too, which 
early in the season close by mid-day, in September would justify 
the name of all day glories often remaining open until dusk. Sci- 
entists are fond of telling us that the opening of the flowers, and 
their odors and colors are all adjusted to the wants of various in- 
sects, but it is probable that certain amounts of light and heat are 
fully as potent factors in developing fragrance, nectar and color. 
The behavior of the four-o'clocks and morning glories would 
seem to indicate that their opening and closing is not altogether 
with reference to insects. And what shall be said of the Goat's- 
beard (Tragopogon pratemis) which as soon as noon comes, 
promptly shuts up shop for the day regardless of the fact that its 
insect customers are then abroad in the greatest numbers. 

Odor of Catalpa Leaves. ~I have examined several catalpa 
trees since reading Mr. C. F. Saunders' note in the July issue of 
the Botanist, and in each instance found the terminal leaves of 
the branches "strongly scented." No odor was perceptible from 
the older leaves, neither did crushing them in my hand develop 
any. From which I conclude that only the new leaves at the ends 
of the branches are strongly scented. It is singular that this 
characteristic of the leaves should have been seemingly overlooked 
by our botanists, or, perhaps if known, was not thought worth 
the mention. The specimens I looked at, were doubtless Catalpa 
hignonioides, as that species is the one generally found growing 
on our Northern lawns. It is the species mentioned in "Illustrat- 
ed Flora" and Britton's new Manual as having stronger scented 
leaves than C. speciosa, the other member of the family. Poss- 
ibly the two species may be distinguished by the odor emitted 
from the terminal leaves. Some of the trees gave off a stronger 
odor than others. Catalpa leaves also afford a striking example 
of shrinkage in drying, the loss in size being about 45 per cent 
or nearly half. Consequently, if anything like accurate measure- 



54 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



ments were wanted, herbarium specimens would fall much short 
of the actual size when green.— James A. Graves, Susquehanna, 
Pa. 

Common Names for Plants. — Every nurseryman and flor- 
ist knows that much of a plant's popularity depends upon its 
possessing a good common name. A lady recently wrote to our 
esteemed contemporary, The Florists Exchange, about a plant of 
Aralia spinosa which they figured and gave its common name as 
well as its botanical appellation. Certainly the common name of 
''Devil's Walking Stick" is not a nice name, especially for a plant 
belonging to^ a lady. This sensitive dame wrote tO' the editor 
complaining that she liked the plant but would not think of own- 
ing anything with a name like that. He was not cornered, for, 
in replying, he referred to the plant as the Angelica tree — a name 
used by old gardeners. No doubt by this time the little prejudice 
against the name has been removed, and she is now the proud 
possessor of an Aralia spinosa, alias Devil's Walking Stick, alias 
Angelica tree. This is as good as the lady who was most profuse 
in her remarks of admiration for a tree of Cercis Siliquastrum, 
which she saw in full bloom and immediately ordered one, but on 
learning that its common name was The Judas Tree she cancelled 
her order, saying that it was no fit tree for a vicarage garden. — 
Gardening World. 

Cross-Pollen ATiON in the Monkey Flower. — In connec- 
tion with the subject of cross-fertilization, a singular behavior of 
our plant {Mirmilus ringens) has been referred to this supposed 
arrangement. The stigma is formed O'f two thin plates which are 
irritable like the leaves of the sensitive plant. About the time 
when the pistil is ready to receive the pollen, these plates expand. 
When touched by any foreign substance, the plates slowly close. 
Usually in plants of this order the anthers mature their pollen be- 
fore the pistil has finished its growth. Pushing through with 
the plates closed, it is assumed that it prevents the deposition of 
its own pollen on the inner receptive surfaces. An insect visits 
the flower while the plates are expanded, depositing the foreign 
pollen, and the plates then close, giving the introduced pollen a 
chance to develop its tubes. This is the hypothesis. There 
seems, however, to be no record of any actual experiments or 
close observation on this point, — and there is yet a good oppor- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



55 



tunity for the student of plant-life to discover new laws. The 
peculiar behaviors of plants are often of service to the student in 
matters of classification. Some botanists place the order of 
Trumpet-flowers, Bignoniaceae, very close to the order O'f Scroph^ 
ulariaceae, in which Mimiihis is placed. Some species of the 
former family have thin, irritable plates for the stigma just as 
Mimiilns has, indicating that the close relationship botanists have 
supposed is correct. — Meehans Monthly. 

Stonecrops AS Lightning Conductors.— The name of this 
family (Sediim) is suggestive, for the plants sit patiently on dur- 
ing the extremes of heat and cold. Bentley enumerates thirteen 
British species. The most frequent are 5'. tectoriim and 6'. acre, 
possessed of very opposite qualities. The former plant enjoys 
a curative reputation amongst old wives and herbalists. Since 
the introduction of slates the sight of a red-tiled cottage covered 
with this Sedum has become rare— at least in the neighborhood of 
populous tO'wns. Sixty years since it added very much to the 
picturesque beauty of many a roof in the Lake District. When 
pedestrianizing in company with a brother pharmacist we admir- 
ed a fine display on the roof and outbuildings of a farmhouse. 
The tenant, an aged, but hale and hearty lady of primitive man- 
ners, volunteered the information that a building was thereby 
protected from thunderstorms, and that *'this very house was sav- 
ed by its intervention. In my grandfather's time the lightning 
struck the roof and turned the thunder-flower all to a jelly ; but the 
house was saved, and that is why it is called thunder-flower" Some 
twenty years after, when traveling on the continent, this Sedum 
was noticed growing abundantly upon many a housetop in Bel- 
gium, where it was known as ^'Dunderblomen at Arras, in 
France, it was styled ''Fleur de Tonnerre " It is remarkable that 
this humble plant should be thus recognized in places so remote 
from each other, and it might be of interest to lovers of plant-lore 
to investigate the subject, and if possible extract the extent and 
origin of the legend, which may date from remote antiquity.— 
Pharmaceutical Journal. 

The Ripening of Mitchella Repens.— The note in the July 
issue referring to the ripening of Gaulthera procumbens and 
Mitchella repens fruit under the snow somewhat surprised me, 



56 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

and while not sufficiently familiar with the fruit of the former 
to venture an opinion, recollection, and personal observation of 
the latter since the note was read, do not confirm the statement. 

The berries persist through the winter and spring", but I recall 
that shortly before the flowering season, in July, they were few 
and badly shriveled. Early in September I went over the old 
grounds to ascertain if possible the time of ripening. Some of 
the berries were green and only half-grown ; others were parti- 
ally reddened, proving that not all wait for the snows to fall ; in 
a few places large, bright scarlet berries gleamed forth in pro- 
fusion. Of course I am not able to say positively that these are 
not old berries rejuvenated by the copious rains of the past sum- 
mer. Yet if memory serves aright they are now in greater 
abundance than in June. Numerous specimens partly reddened 
and some almost completely colored prove that not even frost is 
necessary for their maturity, consequently I still cling to my ori- 
ginal supposition that Mitchella ripens its fruit in autumn; that 
unless picked it is persistent until shortly before the blooming sea- 
son of the next year. Though berries and flowers are not uncom- 
monly found together, the shriveled appearance of the former at 
this time seems rather against the theory that any considerable 
proportion of the berries survive a second \t2iT.— Bessie L. Putnam 
Conneant Lake, Pa. [Observations of this kind are of much in- 
terest. It is probable we shall soon be able to settle this berry 
question.~ED.] 

The Ground-Xut in Cultivation. —Two years ago I took 
up two tubers of the ground-nut (Apios tuber osa) from the stony 
shore of Lake Champlain where there seemed to be no earth for 
food and where they were under water at the time of the spring 
floods. I placed them in ground that is under cultivation, and 
that is enriched each year by a top dressing in the fall. Last 
year I had two fine plants. The stems which must have been five 
or six feet long, clambered up over some brush put in for their 
support. The leaves were large and very dark rich green in col- 
or, while the blossom clusters, one for almost every leaf ^ axil, 
were all that could be asked for. One would have been obliged 
to hunt a long time to find any plants that equaled these. This 
year I have thirteen plants instead of two. One of the old plants 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 57 

failed to come up but the other is doing better than lasc year. The 
otherplantsaregrouped around within a radius of eighteen inches. 
Some of the stems must be fully eight feet long and they make a 
very pretty show as they clamber o\^er a large scraggy branch. 
The foliage shows no signs of deterioration while the flower 
clusters are considerably larger than those of the preceding sea- 
son. From this" experience of the past two years, I am inclined 
to think that plants will not only grow, but will improve under 
cultivation. If they multiply as fast next year the trouble will be 
to keep them from growing rather than to get them to grow.— 
Eunice D. Smith, Barre, Vt. [If our correspondent has not yet 
observed it, she will be interested in the plant's methods of secur- 
ing cross-pollenation~one of the most ingenious methods to be 
found among our common plants. It is also to be noted that not- 
withstanding this machinery for cross-pollenation, ground-nut 
seeds are among the rarities. The reason for this is supposed to 
be that the plant being able to spread so rapidly underground finds 
little use for seed.— Ed.] 



EDITORIAL. 

Some days ago, the editor came across a most curious collec- 
tion consisting of nearly thirteen thousand buttons no two of 
which are alike. In getting this immense number of different 
foniis together, the owner has spared neither time nor money and 
the unique result is something with which the button strings of 
childhood days, are not to be compared. The very immensity of 
the task of sorting out and arranging all those buttons gives the 
collection a touch both of importance and value and the owner is 
justly proud of the fact. But as string followed string in seem- 
ingly endless procession, one could not help reflecting upon the 
vast amount of energy that had here gone to waste. Years of 
work and correspondence and the dollars that make these possible 
all summed up in a great pile of buttons ! A similar devotion to 
any branch of natural science would have made the student an au- 
thority; a like enthusiasm for scientific collecting would have 
formed a collection that even the authorities would have been glad 
to consult. But before we condemn the button-collector it would 
be well, perhaps, to see if we have not as useless a collection of 
our own. What of the plant lover who is constantly seeing new 
or interesting traits in his favorites, but neglects to make thei" 
known to others ? Is his knoAvledge anything more to the rest of 
us than a string of buttons ? And the man who is so eager to col- 
lect new material that he never has time to properly arrange what 
has already been collected— of what greater value to his generation 
is such material ? And the one who disputes over obscure points 
in nomenclature, and the mere gatherer of botanical facts—but 
why continue when the moral of the sermon is in full view? If 
we would turn our leisure to good account, we must not only take 
up something of permanent interest, but must make the results of 
our labors known to others. And in this direction there is no- 
thing at once so attractive and so full of promise as the study of 
botany. 

Now is the time to select your wild shrubs and trees for the 
lawn and garden. It is much better to transplant such things in 
autumn than at any other season. Growth has ceased and if they 
are moved now and properly planted, they will be ready in spring 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



59 



to throw out new roots and leaves with scarcely a perceptible halt. 
It is an excellent thing to have specimens of our wild shrubs near 
at hand for study at all seasons. If for lack of space or other 
reasons you cannot have representatives of every desirable species 
you will make no mistake in selecting such things as are conspicu- 
ous in both flower and fruit. The wild crab-apple may be plant- 
ed quite as much for its fragrant, greasy apples as for its delight- 
ful blossoms. The wild plum, the beach plum, the June-berry, 
the frost grape, and the elder have each two seasons when they 
command out attention; in one pleasant to the eye, in the other 
agreeable to the palate. Still others with inedible fruits are desir- 
able because of the bright display this fruit makes in the dull days 
of late autumn and winter. Among them may be named the 
flowering dogwood, the barberry, the ha,wthorn, the chokeberry, 
the sumac, the viburnum and the fly honeysuckle. Most of these 
may be purchased of the nursery men, but the editor likes to 
shoulder pick and shovel and get his specimens at first hand. Dig- 
ging about their roots and finding out how they are anchored to 
the soil, is found to be an excellent way of beginning their ac- 
quaintance, and moreover it forms a substantial foundation upon 
which to build a subsequent knowledge of the plant's life. 



The Plant World, having begun publication in 1897, announces 
that the September number will be its "wooden wedding" and 
that it will publish a portrait and biography of its senior editor as 
appropriate to the occasion ! Such discrimination, however, ap- 
pears quite unnecessary, in view of the kind of anniversary cele- 
brated. 



Herbarium making is a serious business. It calls for the ex- 
penditure of large amounts of time and a fairly large amount of 
money. It is therefore well for the young botanizer to consider 
the subject carefully before w^asting his precious time in mummi- 
fying plants to be stowed away in dusty pigeon-holes. I do not 
mean to disparage in any way the accumulation of plants by 
museums, universities and botanical gardens for these collections 
are invaluable to the student, but I would point out, that so long 
as we have these vast collections of plants easily accessible, it is 



6o 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



a downright waste of time for the ordinary botanist to make a 
general herbarium. The collection mania is one of the first in- 
dications of a scientific bent and must be indulged ; but it is well 
to confine the collection within certain sensible bounds. If you 
are making a "dead set" at the flora of your region, make an her- 
barium specimen of every species, sub-species and form encount- 
ered and to these add related species from adjacent districts by 
exchange. If you are interested in certain families of plants, col- 
lect not only every species and form, belonging to that family, but 
the fruit and roots and seed, also. Make other specimens to show 
each species in all important stages from seedling to maturity and 
get by exchange the same species from as many distant points as 
possible. If interested more in the esthetical side of botany, a 
small herbarium consisting principally of the showy or curious 
flowers, fruits and leaves of your locality will be excellent. The 
great collections are still none too rich in rare plants and their 
curators will be glad of such specimens as you may find ; but it is 
worse than useless to go on collecting all sorts of common plants 
and adding other common plants by exchange for the sake of hav- 
ing a large herbarium. Better, far, a small herbarium well studi- 
ed, than a large one upon which the dust continues to collect. 



C. H. Bissell and Luman Andrews have recaitly issued a 
very creditable "Flora of the Town of Southington, Conn., and 
its Vicinity," which is published by the State Board of Education. 
The area covered is about 36 square miles and the authors find 
1,200 difYerent species growing without cultivation, a very large 
number in comparison with similar areas elsewhere. 



RHODORA 

Journal of ihe New England Botanical Club 



To all interested in the Flora of the 
North Eastern State RHODORA is in- 
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It aims to interest the amateur as well 
as the professional botanist and will be 
found of permanent value to all students 
of our Flora. 



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THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

Vol. 111. October 15, 1902. No. 4 

HOW THE TURKEY MULLEIN LIVES. 
By M. F. Bradshaw. 

In this "land of sunshine" and winter rains, where the earth 
grows yellow and brow^n from May to November, one would 
hardly look for fall flowers. Indeed a superficial glance over the 
hillsides and plains would cause most people to say there were 
none and that the earth was bare. 

But I think a close inspection of these bare places would con- 
strain them to acknowledge there were many plants—some even 
pretty. A student finds more than this, for these dry-weather 
plants are among the clever ones of the earth. 

Clever they are, because they have chosen a time when there is 
little competition for room and sunshine; they can spread them- 
selves out in exactly the shape they like best, with no tall neighbor 
to overtop and shade them. Clever in their methods of self-pro- 
tection and reproduction, and successful in life as well, for there 
never was a drought that discouraged them. 

Let us look at one Ereomocarpus setigera, called "turkey mul- 
len," "turkey weed," "poverty weed," "tar weed" and I don't 
know how many other local names. It is one of the euphorbia 
family, and quite the most numerous, though its relations are by 
no means few here. 

It grows prostrate, fastened to the dry earth by a slender root 
and looks almost as if it could do quite as well without any so in- 
adequate does the root appear. I say prostrate, though in favor- 
able situations, such as cultivated land it looks up and attains a 
foot or more in height. However, in the hard, sun-baked earth 
of the plains or slopes of the lower hills, it seems to be most at 
home and here it lies quite flat. Its color is gray-green, the small 
clusters of flowers surrounded by leaves of the same color, and 
only noticable by the protruding white anthers. The whole plant 
is really graceful and so thriving and healthy and perfect in every 



62 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



part that it is certain to be admired when one sees it—which most 
people do not. 

Pick a branch and you have doubts after all w^hether it is to 
be admired, for it is closely covered with harsh hairs that are any- 
thing but pleasant to touch. It is also sticky and the smell is de- 
cidedly objectionable. Be assured; it does not sting or poison, 
and well repays close acquaintance. These hairs, placed under 
an ordinary pocket lens are most wonderfully arranged; set in 
bundles like cluster of many needles with a hat pin in the center. 
The hairs seen with the naked eye are the long ones only. 

These hairs are thickly interlaced and serve several very useful 
purposes, the first of which may be protection from sheep or other 
grazing animals, for in this dry, bare season food is scarce and 
everything available is cropped. Then they protect the epider- 
mis from dust which otherwise in this country would quickly 
choke the pores ; and they supply the plant with water. Look at 
a turkey weed any dewy or foggy morning and see how thickly 
the drops of water are set on these hairs ; pick a branch and sec 
how heavy. By experiment the leaves have been found to double 
their own weight and with a microscope the water can be seen to 
enter the hairs ; that is why the plant grows and blooms and ma- 
tures seed, with no rain, soil dry and hard and a continuous blaze 
of hot sunshine. 

The unpleasant, acrid smell probably is another device for 
keeping away grazing animals for it is said that sheep when 
starving will not eat the plant. In the latter part of July or Au- 
gust it makes its appearance and by the end of October it has liv- 
ed its life. 

Orange Cal. 

EXPERRIENTS WITH THE FRINGED GENTIAN. 
By Chas. C. Plitt. 

In the Note and Comment department of the September Bot- 
anist, Mr. J. A. Bates notes the irregular occurrence of Gen- 
tiana crinita and ''that the blossoms are comparatively few on al- 
ternate years." I have noted the same irregularity here in the 
vicinity of Baltimore, and offer the following, which tends to 
show that the plant is a hiennial and not an anmial as stated in 
Gray and also in Britton and Brown, as the explanation. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 63 

When I first noted this irregularity, I thought it was mainly 
clue tO' the terrible onslaughts the plant receives when in bloom, 
for I had noted several times that every plant in sight had been 
gathered, but a florist friend thought it was because the plant was 
a biennial. 

As no plant can stand such treatment and not be exterminated, 
I decided to^ transplant a few to some secret place. 

This was done three years ago. My transplanting was a suc- 
cess and the plants ripened their capsules and disseminated their 
seed. The next year, (two years agO'), I visited the spot, hoping 
tO' find plants that had grown from the disseminated seed, but 
I did not find a single one. Thinking that my transplating had 
been a failure, I decided to try again, this time with about a dozen 
plants. The plants were planted on the same hillside, but in three 
sections, one above the other, and about twenty feet apart. 

Unfortunately my first section was planted close to the spot 
where the plants of the preceding year had stood. This I recog- 
nized the next year when I visited my ''Gentian Place," for far 
down the hillside, where I had transplanted the plants two years 
ago, stood as beautiful a plant as one would care to see, with six- 
teen fine blossoms. It was not discovered by any one and ripened 
its seeds. I examined the spots where the other sections had been 
planted, but no other plants were found. I was now in a cjuand- 
ary for I could not tell if my plant had grown from a seed dis- 
seminated last year or from one disseminated twO' years ago. You 
may be sure that I anxiously awaited results this year. 

Early in August I was on the look-out for plants, and the dis- 
covery of seventeen pretty little plants at the foot of the hill, was 
hailed with delight. In the middle of September the plants were 
in bud and two weeks later in flower. 

Again, the hillside is examined for I now thought of the spots 
where I had transplanted the plants two years ago. In a few 
minutes, I, full of expectation, reached the first spot. What a 
pleasant treat was there awaiting me— eighteen fine plants in full 
bloom ! I stopped only long enough to count the plants, and then 
hastened to the other spot higher up the hill and here again were 
the Gentians— ten more fine plants. 

I think my experiments show almost to- a certainty that the 



64 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

plant is biennial, at any rate in this latitude. To make dcubly 
sure, however, I am trying my experiments all over again, this 
time in two different localities. I might, here also mention ]\Ir, 
J. Ford Semper's experiment. ^Ir. Semper's home is Aikin, ]\Id. 
Two years ago he planted seed of G. crinita. A number of the 
seeds germinated, but of the lot only one plant reached maturity, 
blooming this year. 
Baltimore, Md. 

CAMP FOLLOWERS OF THE FOREST FIRE. 
By Elsie Murray. 

There are certain fire-swept mountain stretches, solemn, lone- 
some in the early twilight, when the scant moonbeams struggle 
raggedly over their desolation that seem far-reaching barrens, 
pathetic, but for the grandeur of the towering grey skeletons, 
stripped of leaf and bark and silent save for the passionate, des- 
pairing cry of the whip-poor-will. 

But revisit the scene in the gay whirl of a summer's morning 
and presto! change! You'll find the genius loci has dropped her 
tragic mask and the very spirit of comedy is tri])ping it over the 
slopes. The tremulous aspen and her adopted sister, the aspen- 
foliaged birch are rioting in the morning breeze. The torch of 
the great fire weed is lighting up the waste far and wide, and the 
steeple bush and the tall Joe-Pye are echoing its tints of rose and 
lavender. 

Most feminine of trees is Betitla popiilifolia; straight white- 
limbed, supple, with pliant spray and light green foliage, flutter- 
ing, rippling as with laughter in the lightest breeze, and ready to 
go into hysterics, as it were, if the wind persists in teazing her. 
Obedient also to lower her head before the swift summer storm- 
w^ind, till every leaf and branch drifts in the track of the gale. 
How every graceful, yielding motion refutes the myriad-pointed 
menace of her foliage— every leaf of which—as the late ^Mlliam 
Hamilton Gibson once pointed out— is cut in the pattern of the 
deadly Indian arrowhead. At a distance, the black markings on 
_the chalky bark,— the black creases where the trunk springs from 
the soil, the black triangles wherever a limb springs from the 
trunk,— at a distance these smutches tone in with the virgin white 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



65 



and on the whole the tree does not behe the nickname of grey 
birch. Often, however, the young branches, even the trunks of 
the saphngs, are a glossy rich dark red-brown and require many 
moultings before they attain to the wdiite toga of maturity. 

Short lived, small statured, a lover of the open— this most gre- 
garious of birches shuns the strange thick-foliaged giants of the 
deep wood and wins itself a foothold on deserted barrens and fire- 
swept wastes, in little companies of six and eight. Here for at 
least a generation she will have few rivals. Only the young fire- 
cherries, with their slender trunks of burnished bronze, and their 
blood-red clusters of fruit, dangling to tempt the birds to an in- 
voluntary extension of their sway, or the tremulous aspen— slim- 
mest and smallest of the poplars and its kinsman, the sturdier 
large-toothed aspen. 

\\^ihat pen or brush could portray the delicate fantasies of col- 
oring one often finds on the smooth straight shafts of these two 
cousin poplars— U^emul Old es and grandidentataf In a single 
thicket you may meet a half dozen different grey-green tones in 
as many saplings; while in a morning's walk, the gamut runs 
from a soft old gold to a dull or silvery pale grey bark, that at a 
little distance closely imitates the white (or grey) birch. It wears 
however, always this hall-mark of distinction— a great dark eye 
with delicately penciled brow, in placs of the black triangular 
dead limb scar of the birch. 

So both poplars appear under a dozen different bark-disguises 
—now yellow, now green, often slightly clouded, as though over- 
hung with the thinnest of pale grey gossamer veils— under appar- 
ently only the slightest variations in age and situation. One does 
note, however, that the greens and yellow are more prominent in 
the younger trees, or in the older ones, after a heavy shower; 
while the bark of full grown poplars is often furrowed and dark- 
ened at the base quite out of resemblance to the younger smooth- 
skinned members of the family. 

The small, chubby outlined leaf-blade of Popidiis tremidoides 
and the larger one of Popidus grandidentata, with its bold-tooth- 
ed margin, are both alike provided with a long flattened petiole 
set like a tiny sail for the breeze and ready to turn the whole 
tree into a thousand whirling green windmills. The same breeze 



66 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



that starts the windmills, sets adrift in ]\Iay the long haired seeds 
of the tremulo'us aspen. On they float, till piloted by chance, they 
reach the fire-blackened wastes where even the buried seeds and 
mits have perished in the heat. Here they drop their worn silken 
wings and root, and along with them the seed of the great fire- 
w^eed, borne hither by the wind in its silvery curls. A host of oth- 
er wood things, great and small, follow these pioneers. The 
white birches gather gratefully on these wide moors, fire-swept of 
rivals, and as the years pass, the green wave of vegetation again 
sweeps ovier the mountain sides. 
Sans Soiici, S. Cor. 

GATHERING NUTS. 
By Prof. Wm. Whitman Bailey. 

To the New Englander there is probably no pleasanter recol- 
lection than that of gathering nuts in boyhood. The very thought 
of those early days attunes the mind to peace and quiet. How 
well we recall how we used to harness up the old horse, take out 
all but one seat of the wagon, pack up a hearty luncheon, and set 
forth for the woods. 

These nutting days are also gentian days—suffused with a gold- 
en mist; days when the leaves simply drop by their own weight. 
We observed whole showers of them, yesterday, fluttering 
through the air like butterflies. One does not need to consult the 
calender to know when nuts are ripe. An instinct, a something in 
the air tells him. 

Although the horse-chestnut is not one of the edible kinds, it 
desen^es mention for its intrinsic beauty. It is always a delight 
to see the great green, prickly pods burst open to reveal their 
mahogany treasures. Where is the joiner or cabinet-maker who 
can attain or even faintly imitate these beautifully polished and 
daintily veined globes?. After a half century of experience it 
still remains a myster}^ to the writer to know what the small boy 
does with the immense quantities he amasses. Vainly have we 
sought information of the youth himself. He stammers and be- 
comes confused when interrogated. The fact remains that no 
horse chestnut tree is safe from boyish assault and battery. 

Of the edible nuts, we suppose that, for a variety of excel- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 67 

lencies, the true chestnut is the favorite. The trees are beautiful 
at all seasons and now are clothed in gold or amber. Children are 
apt to force the season and gather the nuts too young. The time 
to seek them in October is after a cool breezy night. Then the 
spiny burrs open on the trees and the brown beauties come 
showering down. \\'hat a pleasant patter they make I A\ hat 
a delight and fascination there is in poking with a stick among 
the leaves and finding their retreats ! It almost seems as if they 
were endowed with consciousness and wittingly secluded them- 
selves. 

Speaking of the burr, what a consum.mate work cf art it is! 
A\'ithcut it is defended by an intricacy of sharp, irritating spines 
A^ofli me tangcre is its watch-word. Within, each of the valves 
or divisions of the pod is velvet lined as for the reception cf seme 
precious gem. The polished surface of the contained nuts must 
not be marred. There they nestle, three of them usually, close- 
fitting, with the middle one compressed. Each is tipped with a 
long spur-like style, for these are more than seeds ; they are fruits. 

As an instance of contented fatness— one that would please the 
elder Squeers— commend us to the chestnut worm. There he 
dwells in Nirvana merely eating and sleeping, too obese even to 
crawl. He is really a most amusing little fellow, a "greasy citi- 
zen." indolent and happy; we feel ashamed to disturb his rest. 

To us, the black walnut would come next in order of merit to 
the chestnut, but it is hardly common enougii about here to be 
much reckoned with. Its cousin the butternut, really a true wal- 
nut, is much more frequent in Xew England and extends far 
north. 

The shell-bark hickor}' is one of the best nuts, and fortunately 
very abundant. It's flavor is very rich and delicate: it's parent tree 
among the finest in our forests. Tough, lithe and supple in youth 
it grows to grand proportions and sym.metry. We are apt to find 
the trees in groves on rocky hillsides. These trees and their near 
relatives are not, as they are always called in Xew England, wal- 
nuts, but hickories. The noble pecan of the South, best of all 
American nuts is a member of the same genus Hickoria or Carya 
So are the several kinds of pignuts. 

The beech nuts, very common with us, the fruit of one of our 
most superb and shapely trees, is not sought for much as food. 



68 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



we have so many other nuts that are better. The same is true of 
our hazels or filberts, but these are attractive from the fantastic 
beauty of their frilled caskets. We have two kinds, one of which 
has the involucre prolonged into a beak. 

Two accounts of nutting days always come back to our mem- 
ory. The one is in ]\Iiss Warner's 'Oueechy" and the other in 
Beecher's ''Star-papers." Both are imbued with the true wood 
spirit. 

Providence, R. I. 

PASTURE FRIENDS. 
By Charles D. Trumbull. 

Most of us have ineradicably imprinted on our minds, a book 
of memory pictures, gathered from numerous trampings in the 
fields and hills. Some are simple sketches, the sinuous, meander- 
ing brook, forcing itself around an obstructing hill ; some grand, 
spreading panaromas ; others inimitable patches of color, the ]\Iay 
meadow, with buttercups yellow or a splash of flaming meadow- 
beauty in August. On rainy days we turn the leaves of this book 
and dream over the gray boulders on the hills, or the cedar trees 
that stands so prominently forth in winter from their sad colored 
surroundings. On this particular day our gaze lingers on the 
poor close-cropped pastures, furrowed and broken where the an- 
cient cornfield once flourished, but now the encampment of an 
army of hardback (Spiraea) . W q review each individual friend, 
from the gnarly twigg}' wild apple to this same omnipresent 
friend hardback. 

Xo pasture is without this vagabond flower, every pasture, rich 
or poor, must entertain some of those graceful spires of pink. 
Around the swampy hollow they muster in a dense compact line, 
and aided by the scraggly button-bush (CepJialajifhiis occiden- 
talis) , they conceal the spot and shield the browsing cattle from 
the quaggy slough. \\\\h compassion for the snow-birds, they 
retain their bunches of seed and from the snow bound pastures 
they thrust forth a goodly meal. In mid-summer the weather 
colored relic of other summer days sway in the breeze like a for- 
saken last year's bird's nest. 

All who have ever read Henry Thoreau's account of the per- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 69 

si Stent growth and indefatigable development of our gnarly wild 
apple must experience a feeling of affection for this meek Yankee 
tree. Thus he describes his search for the ''Last Gleaning" of 
wild fruit. 'Tor I know that they lie concealed, fallen into hol- 
lows long since, and covered up by the leaves of the tree itself,-- 
a proper kind of packing. From these lurking places, anywhere 
within the circumference of the tree, I draw^ forth the fruit, all 
wet and glossy, maybe nibbled by rabbits and hollowed out by 
crickets, and perhaps with a leaf or two cemeted to it, but still 
with a rich bloom on it, and at last as ripe and well kept, if not 
better than those in barrels, more crisp and lively than they. If 
these resources fail to yield anything, I have learned to look be- 
tween the bases of the suckers which spring thickly from some 
horizontal limb, for now and then one lodges there, or in the 
midst of an alder-clump, where they are covered by leaves, safe 
from cows which may have smelled them out." In his quaint 
fashion he named our friend of the pasture. Mains campestrivallis, 
"the Apple which grows in Hollows in Pastures." The Truant's 
apple, {Ccssatoris) and the Saunterer's apple we easily identify, 
and Pedcstriiiin Solatium, is the friend of our autmun trampings. 

On the rain-washed claybank, w^e usually meet the white 
hoary mullin {Verhasciim) . Its finely colored blossoms would 
make a very handsome spike were they all to bloom simultaneous- 
ly. Rubbed on the cheek, the woolly leaves impart as fine a com- 
plexion as ever graced a Devonshire maid. The dry naked pole 
still holds itself aloft until the last heavy snows of winter weight 
it to earth. 

Xear where the home-returning herd have worn a rough path, 
the regal thistle has established itself so sturdily and staunch. In 
blooming time the brown bees struggle among the purple bios- 
soms, endeavoring to wrest their store of nectar from the kingly 
grasp. The common Cnicus lanceolattis, is named by some 
botanists as the representative of the Scotch thistle in America, 
but any of us who have enjoyed an opportunity of seeeing the 
growing Scotch thistle, are impressed with the beautiful downy 
appearance of both stem and leaves, much more abundant than 
in the Cnicus lanceolatns. It is a much controverted question 
respecting the genus in which it rightfully belongs. The ancient 



-O THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

coins and paintings reproducing its form were not intended to be 
botanically exact, and therefore are of no value in pursuit of a 
decision. A comparative survey of their structure indicates the 
cotton thistle. {Onopordoji acantJiiuin) as the Scotch thistle in 
America and most botanists so credit it now. Though no light 
of legend nor brightness of song hover near its tasselled blooms, 
the broad hoary leaves, the stout stem, the formidable spines that 
repel all advances of friendship so like the touchy Scot, manifest 
its ancient and royal lineage. One prickly enemy in boyhood was 
the Cniciis acanlis, the low stemless thistle. It lurked low in the 
grass and unshod feet suffered well for thoughtless treading on 
the testy leaves. 

The aromatic pennyroyal ( Hcdcoina pulcgioidcs) and bone- 
set [Eupatoriuni pcrfoUatuni) reputable and honest members of 
the domestic meteria medica, are usually tenants of the pastures 
and roadsides. The aroma of our pennyroyal resembles the true 
pennyroyal of Europe,i\/r;z^/z^ pnlcgiiim, and is decidedly a faith- 
ful alleviator of the disagreeable colds of winter. 

Hartford, Conn. 

IXDL\X TREE AXD PLAXT ^lYTHS. 
Once you have inspired confidence in your malice and can get 
him to speak without reserve on the mystic wonders of the vege- 
table world, you would hear marvellous stories and myths, com- 
pared with which the legends and superstitions that still linger in 
our old-fashioned English villages are absolutely tame. There is 
a belief in the South of India that any bare-footed person who 
happens to tread on a "Burdock" datura plant, would immediately 
become intoxicated and losing his way, wander miles and miles 
out of his correct path. There is another mystical plant, the iden- 
tity of which none of my informants could help me to establish, a 
single leaf of which, if shown to an angry cat. would at once hyp- 
notize the creature and prevent it from moving a single limb. Of 
flowers, trees and plants which are the favorite abodes of malig- 
nant demons, the people of this country believe in a good many. 
There is the sweet-scented jessamine, for instance. In some parts 
of the country, the people never plant it in front of the house, for 
fear a certain wicked imp may take up his abode in the branches 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



71 



and cause injury to the inmates of the house. Jessamine blos- 
some are usually selected by evil spirits who are enamoured of 
women and wish to make known their sentiments. In such cases, 
the flowers will be placed beside the woman, particularly on the 
surface of the water when the woman goes for her morning dip 
in a tank or a bathing ghat. Jessamine flowers are also popularly 
supposed to be the favorite food of a certain fastidious species of 
cobra. There is an amusing belief connected with the Belleric 
^lyrabolam tree, [ Tenninalia Bcllerica) . It is said that if a 
splinter from the wood of this tree should get into one's flesh, 
the quickest and most effective remedy is to go in front of a cot- 
ton tree and complain thus :—Tani uncle, Tani uncle, Clicni uncle 
has deceived me." 

An interesting legend regarding the bael tree is that it sprang 
from the milk of Shree. the goddess of abundance. It is frequent- 
ly alluded to in ancient Sanskrit poems as an emblem of increase 
and fertility. Even more interesting is the belief, still full of vit- 
ality among the Hindus, that in the end of time all Nature will 
perish, except one mystic banyan, at the foot of which the deity 
will be enthroned. Another quaint superstition, brought to this 
country by the Arabs, is prevalent in some parts, to the effect that 
rain could be induced to fall during a period of drought iDy simply 
setting fire to the twigs of the ]\Iadar plant {Calotropis gigan- 
tea), after tying them to the tails of wild bulls. 

It would indeed be surprising were there no superstitions con- 
nected with the sacred basil plant (Ociiuuin sanctum) which is in 
such great demand for Hindu religious rites and ceremonies. The 
plant is sacred to \^ishnu, and is said to have been produced from 
the hair of a nymph beloved by him in his incarnation as Krish- 
nan. Oaths are made on basil leaves steeped in water. The 
leaves are held in the hand and swallowed after the oath has been 
uttered. Indeed, basil is held in the same veneration by the Hin- 
dus as ver\^ain (the common English Verbena) was by the ancient 
Romans and Persians, and subsequently the Druids of the forest 
fanes of old England. Just as vervain was long considered a sure 
protective against witchcraft and the stings of venomous snakes, 
so the holy basil is looked upon by the Hindus as a safeguard 
against evil supernatural influences, the leaves of one variety be- 



72 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



ing employed by native herbalists as an antidote to snake poison. 

In connection with the sacred peepul, (Ficus rcligiosa) which 
by the way, bears such a close resemblance to our English poplar, 
there is a belief that the god Badavaugny, in the form of a mare, 
resides in its branches. A^ishnu is said to have been born among 
them and Siddhartan became Buddha while seated under a peepui 
in a Behar village. This identical tree is still piously believed 
to be in existence, and a tree growing at Anuradhapura in the 
Spicy Isle is said to be a branch of that in the Behar village. \Mien 
the peepul leaves quiver, like those of our own aspen, the trembl- 
ing is attributed to spirits agitating each leaf. Then there is the 
neem tree, (Melia indica) around which, owing no doubt to its 
several valuable medicinal uses, a halo of pretty superstitions has 
clustered. The natives say that longevity is to be obtained by 
sleeping under the shade of the tree and that the smallpox god- 
dess will go past, without entering, the house from the door of 
which a bunch of neem leaves is \\\mg.— Indian Gardening. 



TEA AXD COFFEE AS MEDICINE. 

The Globe, quoting Sidney Smith's remark that "he was glad 
he was not born before tea," reminds us that there is something 
of a chock in reflection that the much beloved tea was primar- 
ily looked upon as a medicine. Fancy our descendants of a thou- 
sand years hence boasting of being ''great castor-oil drinkers'' or 
priding themselves on their own particular blend of ''rich sirupy 
rhubarb magnesia!'' But despite its extravagant price—sixty 
shillings a pound it is said to have been given—and the fact that it 
was considered the sort of thing most appropriately sold by to- 
bacconists, tea made its way, and we find Pope and Young and 
Cowper and a score of others making their female characters 
drink "bohea" and eulogizing or satirizing them according to 
their personal views. Coffee would seem to have had a somewhat 
similar origin of discovery to that traditionally related about the 
Bath waters. Of the latter it is told that King Bladud discovered 
that his ailing swine were cured by bathing in and drinking the 
waters of a certain spring. What was good for pigs must His 
^Majesty thought be good for men— and the Bath waters retain 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 73 

their reputation tO' this day. And one day the head of a Dervish 
brotherhood in Arabia noticed that whenever his goats partook of 
a particular shrub they became more vigorous and wideawake in 
their capermgs. So' he resolved tO' try whether some infusion of 
the berries from this same shrub might not wake his "monks" 
from chronic lethargy that afflicted them. The stimulating and 
enlivening effects of coffee brought it tO' the front, and we find 
that the earliest patrons of the coffee-houses which introduced it 
were considered wild fellows and "sad dogs." Later on com- 
plaints of quite another kind were urged against it. Coffee drink- 
ing, it was asserted, would inevitably impair the productiveness 
of the race, and humanity unable to perpetuate itself would dis- 
appear from the face of the earth. But coffee survived this, and 
equally malicious assaults. ~/?Z(i/an Gardening. 



NOTE AND COMMENT. 

Wanted. — Short noj:es of interest to the general botanist are 
always in demand for this department. Our readers are invited 
to make this the place of publication for their botanical items. 

Seeds of Lotus EDiBLE.~The seeds of the lotus (Nelnmbium 
lotus), the well known cultivated plant, are eaten as nuts by the 
Chinese and other natives. When ripe they are peeled and eaten 
V2iw.— Indian Gardening. 

Mosses Used in Millinery.— In the November Bryologist, 
Mrs. E. G. Britton notes that Cliniaciuin dcndroideum, is also 
used in millinery, and that Hylocomium prolifernm is used in the 
manufacture of moss-roses. 

"Farewell to SuMMER."~Mr. Graves' note on the name of 
last rose of summer, applied to the New England aster {Aster 
Nova-angliae) recalls the fact that this plant is also known by the 
appropriate and poetic name of "farewell to summer." 

Range of the Birch.— The birches are trees of boreal range. 
Unknown in the Southern Hemisphere and the Tropics, they 
abound throughout the northern and moimtainous sections of 
North America, Europe and Asia, reaching a more extreme north- 
* ern range on both continents than any other trees.— M. L. Fernald 
in American Journal of Science. 



74 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

The Impatient BLOODROOT.--At least seven months before it 
is ready to^ bloom, the flower bud of the blood-root {Sangiiinarea 
Canadensis) is formed. One may dig up the plant in early au- 
tumn and pulling apart the sheathing bracts, disclose within them 
the flower, half an inch o-r more in length, snugly wrapped in 
the single leaf. The blood-root is not unique in this characteris- 
tic, however, for the buds of nearly all the plants composing the 
early spring flora are formed in autumn ; but its flower bud is pro- 
bably the largest and most easily seen. 

Fruit of the Polygalaceae.— The milkwort family, to which 
our flowering wintergreen or fringed poly gala {Poly gala pauci- 
flora) belongs is seldom thought of as producing edible fruits. In 
fact according tO' Indian Gardening, the only eatable fruit of this 
order is that of Xanthophyllum ohsciirtun, a large, often huge, 
tree with deep shining green leaves and white flowers. The fruit 
is as large as a cricket ball or larger, with a thick rind enclosing 
several seeds wrapped in a sweet white pulp. 

The Largest Fruit in the WoRLD.—When we are ready to 
award the prize for the largest fruit borne by any plant it is pro- 
bable that the humble pumpkin vine will bear ofif the honors. If 
asked tO' instantly name the largest fruit, the pumpkin wortld 
scarcely come to mind, but more leisurely reflection points tO' this 
as the correct answer. One would naturally look tO' the Torrid 
Zone, the home of botanical wonders, for such a prodigy. In this 
connectio<n the question which is the largest seed? comes up. Is 
it the cocoanut ? Will some reader familiar with the botany of the 
world tell us ? 

Tea Drinking in Britain. —If they are looked at in a proper 
light statistics are by no means dull reading and may supply some 
most interesting facts and subjects for speculation. The returns 
of the imports into Great Britain of tea and coffee open up some 
very curious questions. The average Englishman drinks in the 
course of the year, six times as much tea as the average Ameri- 
can or Dutchman and very nearly lOO times as much as the aver- 
age Frenchman. On the other hand, the Englishman does not 
drink coffee and only gets throiig in a year about a twentieth part 
of that which the average Dutchman consumes. —Indian Garden- 
ing. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 75 

The W^hite Pine and Storms. ~A writer in Forestry and Ir- 
rigation notes that all the commercially valuable forests of white 
pine {Pimis str obits) are found in the regions of greatest storm 
frequency in the United States. To be to the white pine's liking 
a region must have an atmosphere containing a high percentage 
of moisture, with much cloudiness, frequent small rains and 
snows uniformly distributed throughout the year and a relatively 
low temperature. The total annual precipitation in the ''white 
pine belt" is from 30 to 40 inches. The snow falls early and 
stays late, the average annual fall being about 50 inches on the 
southern border and 150 inches on the northern. 

The Longest Flower-Stalk.— Probably the longest, if not 
the largest, peduncle is that of fourcroya {Furcroea gigantea). It 
is frequently over forty feet in length and has a diameter of six 
to eight inches at the base. Such an organ being exceedingly ex- 
pensive, the plant takes due precaution that, in case of accidents 
thereto, there shall be at least one way in which it can retain its 
immortality in the shape of living counterparts. The plant seems 
to be arriving at the conclusion that flowers are too uncertain a 
luxury; it relies much more upon bulbils, and thus the generous 
proportions of the peduncle become necessary in supporting their 
enormous weight.--0. JV. Barrett, Mayaguez, Porto Rico. 

Fringed Gentian Experiments.— In this issue ]\Ir. Plitt 
makes an important contribution toward a solution of the puzzle 
which the irregvilar occurrence of the fringed gentian {Gentiana 
crinita) forms for botanists. As a point for other experimenters 
to consider, it is suggested that possibly the plant may sometimes 
occur as a ''winter annual," that is, the seed may germinate in 
autumn and produce small plants w^hich endure the winter and 
bloom the following autumn. Certainly those small plants con- 
taining but four nodes and bearing one small flower cannot be 
considered biennials. Perhaps the difference is size and time of 
blooming is determined by the time of germination in spring or 
fall. 

Myrmecophilous Ferns.— Several different species of plants 
have either developed structures designed to attract ants to them 
for residence or have produced structures that have been taken 



76 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



advantage of by ants for this purpose without design on the part 
of the plant. A recent report on two species of ^Malayan ferns of 
this kind describes the root-stocks as being thick and fleshy with 
a gallery in the interior running lengthwise and giving off two 
lateral series of galleries to the branches and leaf bases. These 
branches are connected with longitudinal chambers in the dorsal 
half of the rootstock. Ants are said to invariably inhabit these 
galleries and as the ferns develop no external openings to them, 
the ants have to make these for themselves in the softer parts of 
the plants. The ferns are both species of Polypodiuin and grow 
upon trees. 

Generic Names and Nomenclature.— Editor Grout of the 
Bryologisf has never been charged with being a conservative in 
matters nomenclatural, but he has a sensible way of looking at 
certain changes in scientific names that does not include him 
among the radicals. The following refreshing observations are 
taken from an article in the November Bryologisf. "The selec- 
tion of generic names which will stand every scrutiny is respect- 
fully offered to the logicians of today as a worthy substitute for 
the discussion of the famous syllogism proving motion impossible 
or perhaps it would prove as effective in promoting learned argu- 
ment as the discussion of how many angels can stand on the 
point of a needle. * Many of the rules made by the re- 

formers of nomenclature are wisely chosen, but the avowed pur- 
pose of some of them to make the whole matter of botanical nom- 
enclature depend on a set of rules to be mechanically applied with 
no reference to previous usages, savors of the methods of the 
middle ages." 

Revision of the BiRCHES.~Mr. M. L. Fernald who has been 
studying a large series of birch specimens, is of the opinion that 
too many forms of our white birch have been given specific rank. 
These trees like many other plants of the far north are very close- 
ly related to European and Asian species and Mr. Fernald says it 
is possible to trace by a series of specimens, a direct connection 
from one to the other. Our paper birch (Betula papyrifera) he 
regards as identical with the white birch {B. alba) of Northern 
Europe and our species should, therefore, be called by the latter 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



77 



name. Under B. alba he places the varieties ghitinosa, cordifolia. 
minor and carpafJiica. Bciiila pcndula of the old world and its 
variety Japonica are said to represent the two forms recently 
described from America as B. alaskana and B. kcnaica. Bctula 
occideiitalis is considered to be only a form of B. alba. 

The Ornithologist and Botanist Again.— We were some- 
what surprised at the number of orders received for the files of 
this journal offered in the September number of American Bot- 
anist. There are still twelve sets left, if others desire them. 
Each set contains ten numbers of eight pages each, and a set will 
be mailed for ten cents. The journal was the first official organ 
of the Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter and contains a good pro- 
portion of plant lore that is still of interest. Address this office. 

The Heliotrope as a Fever Cure. --Among our most valu- 
ed ornamental plants, says Cosmos, is the helitrope, not because 
its beauty, form, and color are specially remarkable, but because 
it flowers abundantly throughout the year and is particularly fit- 
ted for bouquets, its suave odor being spiecially sweet and agree- 
able. Now, as if these qualities were not sufficient, a more ser- 
ious one is attributed to it, namely, ability to cure fever. The 
ancients, we know, notably Dioscorides recognized this property 
and in the sixteenth century, if we may believe Bauhin's "His- 
tory of Plants," its seeds were prescribed tO' be taken in wine for 
quartan fever; but in our day of light and progress, who pays 
any attention to the ancients ? So like so many other beneficial 
plants, it has been cast into oblivion. Now, however. Dr. Pilot- 
off, of Moscow, has rehabilitated it in a memoir presented to the 
Russian Academy of Medicine and affirms that the heliotrope can 
be substituted for quinine in medicine, having all its advantages 
without any of its inconveniences. He adds that for many years 
it has been used in Persia, Turkey and parts of Russia as a remedy 
for fevers with success. 'Tts mode of prq>aration is very simple 
consisting merely in macerating the stems and leaves in brandy." 
The writer adds that there is now a passion in France for every- 
thing Russian, the new medicine evidently opens a rich field for 
the horticulturist. 



EDITORIAL. 

With their usual abilit}- to perceive the fitness cf things, the 
editors of the Plant World chose their **'souvenir'* number as a 
medium for throwing a large quantity of mud— and very black 
mud, too— at the American Botanist and its editor. The edi- 
tors were evidently in what is known as "a state of mind" when 
they took up their pens, and all because we do not believe Am- 
erica needs two plant protection societies and have had the hardi- 
hood to mention it. To us it seems that if we really mean plant 
protection, the best way to accomplish it is to help on the work of 
the original Boston society, but if our object is to brace up the 
failing circulation of the Plant World— why that is another mat- 
ter. In fact that is the only matter that makes a second society 
desirable, regardless of how "national" its scope is made by m.eans 
of honorary officers. The Plant JVorld editors are excited and 
should avoid all stimulating literature for a time, especially the 
American Botanist. 



The Fern Bulletin celebrated the completion of ten years of un- 
interrupted publication by making a special number of the Octo- 
ber issue, in which are printed articles upon fern study in various 
parts of the world as well as a complete sur\'ey of fern study in 
America. Although a comparatively youthful journal, it is al- 
ready the third oldest of -\merican botanical publications, exclud- 
ing those devoted wholly or in part to horticulture. During its 
existence it has witnessed the demise of several larger and more 
pretentious journals for the way of the botanical publication is, 
at best, rough and beset with many difficulties. 

At the beginning the Fern Bulletin found it necessar}- to 
*'make" its own public. At that time people interested in the 
study of ferns were exceedingly few and to have begim with a 
magazine like the present one. would have meant failure through 
lack of support. The first issues were therefore rather small and 
insignificant, but they rapidly improved with a growing clientele. 
The number of pages has increased half a dozen times, at least, 
and at present thirty-two pages are published each issuse. The 
magazine is now on a safe financial basis and in this respect is pro- 
bably unique among -\merican publications of its class. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 79 

The case of the American Botanist finds a parallel in that of 
the Fern Bulletin for it, too, has in a measure, had to make a pub- 
lic for itself. Botanists there are in plenty, but botanists who ap- 
preciate the study of plants as living things are still as rare as fern 
students were ten years ago. It is not that the botanists are in- 
capable of taking an interest in such studies, but that they never 
have had the way opened for them to do so. It is the privilege of 
this journal to be a pioneer in the new field and to awaken an in- 
terest in the habits of the plants about our doors. Interest in col- 
lecting plants fails when there are no more rarities within reach ; 
species making must end when the last variant is tagged with a 
name; possibly wrangles about nomenclature will in time cease; 
but once one begins to see new beauties in species that are neither 
new nor rare, he is started in a line of work that will never pall 
upon him. This is the newer and better botany which we feel sure 
will ultimately surpass all others and we are building the Ameri- 
can Botanist along lines that conform tO' it. Just as fast as our 
following increases, the magazine will be enlarged and every 
reader who mentions the journal to a friend, helps on the move- 
ment. 

The much advertised "wooden wedding" number of the Plant 
World appeared without the promised portrait of the senior edi- 
tor. It is explained that it could not be prepared in time for that 
issue. Evidently he had been comparing the American Botan- 
ist with his own journal and could not thereafter work up the 
necessary "pleasant expression." 



BOOKS AND WRITERS. 

"Po'Stelsia" is not the name of a new breakfast food, however 
much it may sound like it. It is the title of the year book of the 
Minnesota Seaside Station and the initial volume is said to con- 
tain seven essays mostly relating to algae. The book is printed 
on Roxburgh laid paper and bound in maroon silk with gold em- 
bossed book-plate by Rosendahl and no doubt shows at every 
point how completely art has become the handmaid of science. 
The edition is limited to 250 copies at $3.25 each, and as no copies 
are to be sent for rieview, the poor editor who, like the country 



8o THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

minister, has to depend upon donations for this sort of thing, can- 
not give it a more extended notice. The scientist will no doubt 
luxuriate in his Roxburgh edition, but we suggest that when the 
next volume is published, a few sheets of just common old white 
paper be fed into the press to make a book or two for the editors. 

We note with regret that the publishers of Meelian's Monthly 
have decided to discontinue the magazine at the close of the pre- 
sent volume. For twelve years it has stood as a model of what 
a journal of popular botany should be and its disappearance will 
leave a blank that other journals will imperfectly fill. It is to be 
regretted that a journal so ably edited and so full of real worth 
should not find sufficient support from the flower loving public to 
justify its continuance. 

"The plants used by the Indians of Mendocino county, Califor- 
nia," is the title of a valuable publication recently issued by the 
United States Department of Agriculture as a contribution from 
the National Herbarium. These Indians have only been in con- 
tact with civilization for about half a century and as a conse- 
quence still retain many of their former customs. It is the opinion 
of the author, Mr. V. K. Chesnut, that several of the wild plants 
used as food might be introduced into the gardens of civilized 
men with good results. 

Dr. B. L. Robinson's "Flora of the Galapagos Islands" issued 
as a contribution fromi the Gray Herbarium of Harvard Univer- 
sity under date of Ocober 28, 1902, is a general revision of the 
peculiar flora of these little known islands, made possible by the 
collections of the recent Hopkins-Stanford Expedition. There 
are now 537 flowering plants and ferns known from this region 
and these belong to no less than 323 genera. A remarkable char- 
acteristic of the flora is the number of endemic species that occur. 
Forty-five per cent, or nearly half the species, are found only in 
these islands. Thirty-nine out of the seventy-two families of 
plants represented, contain endemic species, the Compositae, alone 
containing thirty-nine and the Euphorbiaceae twenty-five. The 
genus Scalesia is found only in these islands and, most singularly 
several of the islands have each a species of it that is not found on 
any of the others. 



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THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

Vol. 111. November 15, 1902. No. 5 

VAGABONDS AMONG THE FLOWERS. 

By Charles D. Turnbull. 

At the old cross-roads school, book m hand and stoutly booted 
feet awkwardly toeing the line at various angles, our grand-par- 
ents stammered and struggled through the lines of the ''wheat 
and the w^eeds," in their old brown covered readers. The verses 
recounted the experiences of ''three youths in city bred," who had 
rambled for pleasure's sake among the green fields and budding 
trees of the country. "Of herbs and grain they little knew, what 
Linaeus wrote or Sinclair grew," and each as he strolled along 
expatiated upon the beauty and fragrance of his choice of flowers 
but all condemned the rising blades of green composing the wheat- 
flelds, as unworthy of such bright companionship. 

"A Farmer chanced behind the gate 
To overhear the youth's debate, 
And knowing from ignorance error springs 
He strove to teach them better things. 
'My lads,' he said, 'now understand 
These are the weeds that spoil our land ; 
But the green blades you trample down 
Are wheat, man's food and Nature's crown.' 

These lines illustrate the prevalent and conventional distinction 
between the flowers and the weeds. Our grandparents probably 
pondered w^onderingly and failed to understand why these flow- 
ers so beautiful should be ruthlessly condemned as weeds, these 
flowers so bright could not be weeds. But in after years they till- 
ed their many acres and entered the eternal fight against the 
weeds and then hard experience taught them the distinction be- 
tween Nature's crown "and the flowers that blossom so fair in the 
sweet summer time." 



82 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



A convential definition of a weed is any one of those herba- 
ceous plants which are useless and without special beauty or espec- 
ially which are positively troublesome. Whether a plant be a 
flower or a weed is often dependant on that pair of eyes through 
which we view it. Under the second clause of this definition the 
white daisy of the May meadow, {chrysanthemum leucanthe- 
mum), the inspiration of poets and admired by all through its vir- 
gin beauty, is denounced as whiteweed by the farmers. In a prac- 
tical sense a weed is not necessarily a flower possessing no esthe- 
tic beauty nor does possession of such quality prote:t it from tlie 
brand, but should it prove troublesonie to mankind through unus- 
ual productive powers and rapidity ot growth, it inimediately 
looses caste and becomes a vagabond flower. Our black eyed 
Susan (KurJbeckia hirta) and wild carrot {Daucm carota) equal 
in beauty many pampered garden blossoms, but partaking of the 
pernicious qualities of weeds, they are forever and eternally at 
arms with the t.-^rmers, and in my state, the wild carrot has long 
since been cutic.wed and relentless war is proclaimed against the 
tribe, which liowever, continues to spread and increase, and flaunt 
its banner whiie defiantly from all the countryside. 

The majority of Nature's lovers prefer the first clause of the 
definition as the most accurate and felicitious, for does not the en- 
tirety place all flowers under the possibility of carrying this brand 
of floral disgrace? True to nature conferred on all, the plant in 
its congenial soil, location and clime, will flourish and increase. 
Perhaps in their native soil many exotic weeds are honored and 
respected flowers, but in the unfortunate day when they secured 
a stolen entrance along with honest seed into our regions, their 
downfall was immediate. They proved fruitful and abundantly 
multiplied, spread over the land and graced the wayside walk or 
the brown barnyard floors ; and that saying, concerning familarity 
which breedeth contempt is as old as the brown hills themselves 
and applies also to our weed. 

The lesser weeds compose the entire urban flora; the delicate 
colored species from the fields and hills possess none of the tena- 
city and vitality of the weed that is so necessary for their urban 
life. We may liken the field flowers growing in cities to the in- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 83 

tensely natural savage, who languishes in pines under civilized 
restraints ; the weeds to that hardy savage with some taste of civil- 
ization, that has adapted himself to his conditions and flourishes 
under amazing restrictions. 

They hold a bare, unvegetated spot to an abnormal condition 
and seem to consider it a point of weedy honor to clothe these nak- 
ed places on the bosomof mother earth, but there would be fewer 
complaints were they to confine themselves to the wayside and 
* barren assigned them by the Lord of the earth, and not strive so 
stoutly to fulfill their office on spots uncovered by men. Even 
stonewalks in neglected estates are covered from sight by the ac- 
tivity of the knot weed {Polygonum aviculare), that embodiment 
of weedy qualities. The first season, from the. edge of the flag- 
stones, it spreads a hardy crop of vegetation. Wandering gusts 
settle layer upon layer of dust over the plants till they are sub- 
merged and life is departed, though not until they have attained 
their end by producing seed. A later crop springs into life upon 
this shallow soil and they repeat the operation. This continues the 
third season and the fourth and in a very short time where was 
once the Vv^alk is the green stretch of weed. Portions of city 
streets not subject to much traffic must be hoed during the sum- 
mer months tO' prevent them acquiring a rural appearance owing 
to the activity of this vegetable rodent. 

Hartford, Conn. 



NOTES FROM PORTO RICO. 
By O. W. Barrett. 
The sensitive plant (Mimosa piidica) , is one of our worst 
weeds in pastures here. It's sharp claw-like spines cause almost 
as much profanity among the field laborers as do the ant nests. 
It attains a length of six feet or more rambling about in the grass 
and low bushes. 

The Ceylonese Alocasia niacrorhiza, likewise has a bad reputa- 
tion here because it preempts the choicest plats of moist, rich soil 
and ccrries out the squatter policy most successfully. When left 
■unmolested for a few months it reaches a height of 6 to- 8 feet, 



«4 'fHE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

tnongh, of couise, practically stemless. Having found the aris- 
tocratic and highly decorative variety, A. macrorhiza variegafa 
gTo\ving in the midst of a clump of the green ''parent" species, it 
looks like a case of caught-in-the-act sporting; at best I can never 
be more than civil to variegata hereafter. 

Speaking of ornamentals, let me record the achievement of a 
Crimirii amahile, in our grounds. It had been starving on 
an unmixed diet of red clay until a few months ago when I began 
a scries of menus which have "gone right to the spot," as it were. 
The bulb weighs, I judge over 30 pounds and is some 2 feet long; 
it now has two 4 foot peduncles bearing 29 and 32 flowers respec- 
tively ; th«e leaves are 6 to 7 inches wide and about 4 feet long. The 
perianth tube is 5 inches in length and the petal-like segments are 
7 inches ; this means the open flower is a foot or more across and 
its size together with the exquisite coloring, which ranges from 
pure white to deep purplish red, render it a thing of rare beauty- 
a sight to remember. Thirty is stated to be the maximum num- 
ber of flowers per peduncle; two peduncles at once is a very rare 
event; therefore, I respectfully challenge any reader of the Am- 
ERCiAN Botanist to beat the above record. 

Mayagiiez, Porto Rico. 



PLANTS IN WINTER. 

By Prof. W. W. Bailey. 
We are apt to think of all plants as lying dormant in winter. 
As a matter of fact many of them are very much alive. If we cut 
open a crocus bulb or that of a tulip, we find the fully formed 
flower-buds within, and most beautiful objects they are. Still, 
every one knows that the crocuses planted in November wall not 
appear above ground at the earliest till sometime in February. 

If they are all ready to develop—as they seem to be, why do they 
not at once come up? A very natural reply is, that the weather is 
too cold. The answer is not satisfactory; it is often just as in- 
clement or even more so when they finally do appear. The height 
of the thermometer then has not been the sole factor. No; our 
bulbs have been doing good earnest work under ground. At- 
tempts to force the snow-drops by mere increment of heat have 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 85 

failed disastrously. While they develop foliage and an inflorescence 
after a fashion, they do not form perfect flowers and they perish 
early with aims unaccomplished. Four months later the normal 
growth takes place even at a very low temperature. 

Many seeds, rootstocks and tubers act similarly. In all such 
cases the materials contained in the cells are vitally active. The 
contents of their cells slowly pass through various chemical 
changes, preparing them for their future function. Neither heat 
nor moisture will hasten this transformation. 

It is right enough then, after all, to speak of a time of dormancy 
if we do not carry it far enough to involve the idea of death. A 
seed, bulb, potato-tuber, are inert enough surely, but they are po- 
tential with life. A comparison is sometimes made between 
them and a lucifer match. The latter, too is quiet enough, and 
may remain so for months or years. When heat or friction is 
applied, a key has been touched which sets tremendous energy in- 
to being. We have* violent oxidation with its accompaniments 
of heat and li!2:ht. Several springs must be plied to start up the 
vital engine in a plant. There is oxidation here, also, but accom- 
panied by the subtle, elusive, mysterious force called life. 

Of course we all know that certain plants, very many, may 
have their resting period, their long vacation, shortened without 
harm. These, like hyacinths, will respond even in November or 
December to the stimulus of heat and moisture. By mid-Janu- 
ary certainly and perhaps earlier, one can force a budding spray 
of Forsythia into a golden splendor of bloom. We even see lilies- 
of-the-valley and lilacs, neither of them naturally early bloomers, 
thus compelled to blossom in winter. It stands to reason that it 
is easier to do this with plants whose time of blooming is early, 
the Mayflower, hepatica, cherry, willows, alders, birches and the 
like. 

Kerner tells of a curious and instructive experiment he once 
tried. He drew the shoot of a clematis plant rooted in the open, 
after it had lost its foliage in the autumn into the interior of a 
neighboring hothouse. Leafy shoots were developed from the 
buds of the upper portion thus warmed even in December ; while 
the lower portion of the same plant, situated outside the hot house 



86 



I HE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



and surrounded by cold air, was still frozen. This plant, it seems 
could draw at once upon the constructive materials deposited in 
its reserve store-house. 

There are various parts of a plant which serve as such treasure- 
,fvauilts. To them, all summer long as to a bank, there is a con- 
stant inflow of deposits. Roots or parts of roots, stems or parts 
of such, scales, etc., may all be employed for storage. 

Providence, R. I. 

PLAXT IXTELLIGEXCE. 
By F. Bradshaw. 
In observing and studying nature the thing which impresses 
and grows on one is the mind, the intelligence displayed. In some 
plants more than instinct is apparent and reason of no low order 
can be seen. Every one knows how most plants secure pollina- 
tion by bees or other insects. So various are their devices, so 
beautiful the arrangement of their parts for the desired end, we 
are lost in wonder more and more as we examine one after an- 
other. 

How many people look at the nettle with any degree of inter- 
est—a thing to be dodged as we reach for a neighboring flower? 
And who has solved the meaning of those vicious stinging hairs ? 
Until this year, I never gave the plant more than a passing look, 
but one day, not long ago, something inspired me to take home 
some of the tall spikes of the creek nettle ( Urfica holoscn'ca) 
for study. The flowers look like stringy catkins and are dispos- 
ed in full clusters in the axils of the leaves. 

The two upper clusters were green while those below were 
white and one naturally supposied the green ones to be immature 
flowers or buds. But placed under an ordinary lens they proved 
to be pistillate blossoms, while the white ones were staminate. 
They are apetalous, that is with calyx and no corolla and they 
were all closed—little white globes. 

A touch with a needle and— pop ! they fly open and four stamens 
are there, thie filaments twice as long as the lobes of the calyx 
and standing curved, cup-like, each with a comparatively large 
globular anther. At first I thought it surj^rising that the stamin- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



87 



ate flowers should hang below the pistillate, for how then could 
the pollen reach the stigma, till I remembered how some plants 
desire cross pollination. 

Now how wise is this despised nettle ! First, it knows that 
cross fertilizing produces the strongest plants, then to prevent self 
pollination, the flowers containing the pollen are set below the 
ones that require it to form the seeds. But the pollen is not to 
be allowed to waste by falling or being blown away by every 
wandering wind ; it is guarded by the closed calyx till a bee alights 
there, when up fly the four anthers and must literally clasp the 
head of the bee. I do not know what in the sober green pistillate 
flower attracts a visit any more than I know the meaning of the 
stinging hairs on the stems, but doubtless nectar is there and 
manages to make its presence known. 

Orange, Cal. 

SOME ORCHIDS AND FERNS OF CONNECTICUT. 
By Angie I\I. Ryon. 

The farm house in which I spend half of each year stands on a 
somewhat rocky ridge between two wooded swamps. The dif- 
ference in plant life between these two low lying tracts is a matter 
of considerable interest to me, for while they are in many respects 
similar, there is much of individuality in the plant life. This is 
the more striking because the two tracts are quite near together, 
and run in nearly the same direction. 

In Red Brook swamp I find that tiny orchid Microstylis ophio- 
gtossoidcs, adder's mouth—growing in the blackest of mud in 
thickets of the most impenetrable kind, under tangles of wild 
grape vine and poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron.) So effectually 
is this shy little denizen hidden that I must hunt long through 
these dark tangles ere I find the coveted little green heads ot 
bloom. Such a quaint little thing! A veritable "symphony in 
green." Leaf, stem and flower, all the same deep grass green, 
and often the bulb is quite green. The first time I came upon 
this little oddity after a good hour of steady fighting against bush 
and brier, I was quite amazed to think I had found it at all. It was 
so tiny and so hidden. Growing in its immediate neighborhood 
I find the inconspicuous greenish flowers of Habenaria tridentata. 



88 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



This is usually more easily found, and is here much more abund- 
ant than the adder's mouth. Near these I occasionally find H. 
ciliaris, but the growth is mostly too dense here for this lover of 
the sunlight, for it needs the bright orb to paint it in glowing col- 
or. //. lacera blooms among the dark shadows of swamp maple 
and pepperidge. 

P'or several years I have never failed to "find the large blue-green 
velvety leaves of Arontimii aqiLatictnn—goXdtn club~in the brook 
which runs through this swamp; but this year for some unex- 
plainable reason my attractive neighbor was absent, and the brook 
really seemed to miss it and I felt lonely to see the empty spot 
where my old friend had been for so long. Why it died I cannot 
guess. Close by in the dusky aisles under the largest old swamp 
maples grow fine plants of Aspidium simiilatum. Such lovely 
great fronds of tenderest green! I must handle them carefully 
indeed if I am to get them out of this thicket undamaged. This 
is to me a beautiful variety, especially when it grows in this spot. 
A bit lower down the brookside I find quantities of narrow-leaved 
chain fern (Woodzvardia angustifGlia.) This fern seems to need 
sunlight in order to send up its dark stemmed heavily fruited 
fronds. Here too are tall glowing stalks of the cardinal flower 
(Lobelia cardinal is) a dazzling beauty. Just beyond the swamp 
and in the low woodland adjoining I find the quaint blossoms of 
that curious orchid Pogonia verticillata. I frequently haunt 
this odd little company as long as the flowers last. Their long 
dusky purple and green sepals are so odd, the dainty purplish 
lip with the pretty odd little crest, the whorl of green leaves and 
the maroon green stalk w^ith its ''bloom" all combine to make this 
little plant seem to me the very embodiment of the time of burst- 
ing bud and flower. From the prevalence of the same tints of 
green, maroon and brown in plant leaf and soil which surround it. 
as well as its own low stature this little plant is not easy to find. 

In the east swamp I find the cardinal flower has thrust up bright 
wands all along the brook. I also find Habeiiaria tridentata in 
the sphagnum bogs but the little adder's mouth is entirely absent 
as is also my favorite A. sirnulatiirn. Not one plumy frond of it 
can I find for all my vigilance, neither in the more elevated wood- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



89 



land do I find even one flowering plant of Pogonia verticillata, 
although, after long search I found a few low plants of it which 
ever refuse, to flower. But here I find strangers who never fre- 
quent other nearby wooded swamps. Here I find that queer freak 
of the fern world Aspidiiun crestatiun x marginule. There are 
but two plants of it in all the great sw^amp, for I've searched faith- 
fully up and down, hither and yon. These tw^o plants throw up 
long fronds, many a full yard in length and in such a variety of 
forms ! Looking as if by some misfortune, or some depredation 
of beetle or worm to have been badly mutilated. But I think no- 
thing has troubled their development but their own ''cris-cross" 
proclivities. I know of no such oddity in flowxr or fern as this . 
Close beside it are four beautiful plants of Aspidmm boottii. This 
is absent from the adjoining swamp also. On the slightly elevat- 
ed woods near this tract I find instead of the odd Pogonia a great 
profusion of Liparis liliifolia and occasional plants of L. Loeselii. 
in this swamp the poison sumac {Rhus venenata) is entirely ab- 
sent, w^hile it is very abundant in the Red Brook sw^amp. 
Nezu London, Conn. 



THE DWARF BLUE CURLS. 
By Wm. a. Terry. 
Li your note on Canning's paper on the lesser from of Bninella 
in July Botanist, you do not comment on his statement that it 
docs not flower. I have been noticing this plant for several years 
and can state that here in Bristol, Connecticut, it does flower 
abundantly. The flowers are darker in color than the common 
form, and are very small, as are the flower heads also, which grow 
nearly sessile and frequently in contact with the ground. Last 
season I noticed in the lawn of the Public Library and in several 
other lawns on High street, patches several feet in diameter, that 
were so blue with flowers as to be visible several rods away. On 
my own lawn a space twenty feet in diameter was covered with 
flowers. Canning speaks of its vegetative reproductive qualities 
Last season back of my house, beside the driveway, a plant came 
up, apparently from seed, of such mammoth proportions that I 
iiesitated about calling it Bninella, until late in the season it com- 



90 ^ THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

nienced to flower. It formed a clump two feet in diameter and 
about two feet hig-h, with numerous flower heads. The flower 
heads and the individual florets also, were as much larger than the 
common Brunei la as that is larger than the lawn variety 
(Nana.) The flowers were also much lighter in color. In a 
yard near the Congregational church grows a plant of a somewhat 
related genus which I take to be Ajnga rcptans. It has a whorl 
of purplish blue flowers around every node from near the bottom 
to the top. Beside these is another patch that has pinkish flow- 
ers and another more slender variety with white flowers. A lawn 
on High street a few years ago was covered with the meadow 
cress (Cardaminc pratensis).^ This has a broad flat topped clus- 
ter of pinkish white flowers, somewhat like the pepper root, 
{Dent aria lanciniata. ) 
Bristol, Conn. 

SOME DECIDUOUS TROPICAL TREES. 
By Mrs. E. C. Anthony. 
Having supposed from childhood that tropical trees were ever- 
green, the changes and dropping of foliage in Nassau were very 
interesting. The silk-cotton tree (Ceiba) always an interesting 
tree from its great size, the massive buttresses that support its 
trunk, and huge horizontal limbs, is still more so from its pecul- 
iarity of succession of leaf and flower. It has been said that one 
should have it under examination for three years, in order to see 
the whole round of leaf, flower and fruit. 

There were five>magnificent specimens in front of the hotel which 
were the objects of notice. One in particular was in full leaf the 
last of November. How long it had been so, 1 do not know. 
About Christmas time the leaves, which resemble those of our 
Horsechestnut, began to fall, and this process continued three or 
four weeks, when the tree became entirely bare—this state lasting 
about two weeks. Then gradually and slowly the flower 
buds began to show. It was a month before the tree 
was in full . bloom, and attracting hosts of insects and 
many humming birds, with its sweet, heavy odor. The very short 
time during which the blossoms lasted hardly seemed to compen- 
sate for the long process of getting ready. The formation of the 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 9 1 

pods was equally slow, and it was the last of March before they 
grew sufficiently to be markedly evident. One of the trees which 
last year was bare all winter, this year ( 1902) was in full leaf, and 
did not change. Another one dropped its leaves from one-half 
of the tree, and put out blossoms and pods, while the other half 
remained green. Each tree seemed to be a law unto itself, and ap- 
parently not affected by outside circumstances. 

A Demerara almond tree which was in full leaf and fruit at 
Christmas began to change and drop its nuts and finally its leaves 
in February. The leaves resemble those of the Magnolia, and in 
changing are many of them as brilliant in color as our brightest 
maples. It was entirely bare by the first of March, and so con- 
tinued for perhaps two weeks when it surprised us by putting out 
tender green foliage, which was half grown by the end of March. 

Goiiveneitr, N. Y. 

SOME MUSHROOMS FOUND AT MT. POCONO. 
By Mrs. E. M. Dallas. 

It would be impossible in this paper tO' enumerate and still 
more so to describe all the mushrooms I found this past summer. 
I have selected a few of the most remarkable, either for looks or 
for rarity, and will briefly mention them. The country around 
Mt. Pocono is certainly favorable for the growth of all fungi. 
After a season's experience I learned two or three facts about it. 
First that there were few of the genus Boletus to be found there, 
and comparatively few of Lactariiis. Then I discovered there 
were a great many of Marasmiiis, and lastly that if there existed 
but few species of any one Genus, that those few woiild be what is 
called in the books, 7'are. 

To begin with the genus Boletus, there is none more striking in 
appearance than B. spectabilis or the showy Boletus. Prof. Peck 
describes it in his book as a rare, showy species, which inhabits 
cold northern swamps. When I saw it, it was growing in marshy 
ground. There were great numbers of it in various stages of 
growth. The young plant was covered with a veil and the caps 
were spotted with reddish scales and had a viscid appearance. 
Perhaps Boletus bicolor which I also found is a handsomer fun- 
gus. The two colors from which it obtains its name are red and 



92 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

yellow. The cap is red and the tubes and flesh are bright yellow 
while the stem is red below and yellow at the top. It is 
well named and easy to distinguish from others. The tubes and 
flesh slowly change to blue when wounded. These two species 
with Boletus suhaiireus were the most striking ones that I found. 
The pale golden Boletus has the cap, tubes and stem all yellow. 
The stem is yellow within and without. It somewhat resembles 

B. Ainericamis, but is stouter, and has smaller tubes of a clearer 
yellow. CantJiarelliis floccasiis called the trumpet chantrelle 
has been described by Professor Peck in his 52nd report. It is 
a most distinguished looking mushroom. It grows in the woods, 
and its rich orange color and the wooly scaly appearance of the 
cap and its trumpet-like shape render it very striking. The cav- 
ity in the centre of the cap extends to the stem. The stem is 
short and there is a variety called vS. brezipes in which the stem is 
shorter still. The specimens I saw were all large, whole plant 
six and seven inches long and four inches across the top. Prof. 
Peck says it is a good edible mushroom, and one would nearly 
furnish a meal. The distinguishing characteristic of the genus 
Cantharelhis is the fold-like nature of the gills, but there is no flue 
dividing line between some genera ; one often merges into anoth- 
er, and we may find a species in which the typical characteristic 
is not clearly defined. Such a case exists in C. umhonatus which 
Stevenson say3 is a rare species. I sent it to Dr. Herbst for de- 
termination. Its color was mouse grey, with shining white gills. 
The cap which was an inch broad was umbonate and then depress- 
ed in the center, the surface silky. The stem was gray and fuUy 
three inches long and the gills were decurrent, quite crowded and 
dichotymous. It grew in moss and looked somewhat like a 
Clitocyhe. 

\\'e found quite a number of Clifocybcs. There was the beau- 
tiful delicate greenish-blue one, C. odora and the white Clitocybe 

C. Candida which Atkinson has described and of which he has 
given two good pictures. It grew on dead trunks of trees in the 
darkest and thickest part of the woods, in large groups and clus- 
ters, by its pure whiteness lightening up the gloomy space around. 
The plants were large, measuring eight inches across, but the 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 93 

Stems were short and thick, and only three inches in length. The 
caps were smooth, with their margins turned up and wavy and 
the gills were adnate-decurrent and crowded. The stems of this 
species are disproportionally short, considering the width of the 
cap. The latter is not regular, but is often longer on one side 
than the other. This mushroom is also said to be good eating. 
Some of the plants have the stems lateral and so resemble the gen- 
us rieiirotiis. I think they are quite as striking looking when one 
sees them in the woods, as Clitocybe illudens. Clitocyhe trul^ 
laeformis or the basin-shaped Clitocybe, from the word trullae 
which signifies a basin or ladle, is quite different looking. The 
color is grey and the shape funnel-like as the name betokens. It 
is dry and flocculose, and the flesh white. It is much smaller than 
the ones I have described. The cap is two inches broad and the 
stem two inches long and like the cap, of a grey color. The gills 
are decurrent and distant and shining white. It resembles C . 
cyathiformis in color of cap and stem, but differs in the snow- 
white flesh. These four Clitocybes are the principle ones I found 
beside the ubiquitous C. laccata which pervades every space. One 
can not walk along any path, in the woods or along roads without 
seeing it, and the shapes it assumes are manifold. It is a great 
trial to the beginner who is constantly thinking that he has dis- 
covered a new mushroom. 

Crater el his clavatus was a new mushroom to me. It affords 
another example of the indistinct line of demarcation between 
genera. The genus Craterellus, is allied tO' Cantherellus, which 
is intermediate between Agaricus and Craterellus. We are all 
familiar with Craterellus cornucopoides. Its blackish-grey trum- 
pet-shaped cap is found nearly everywhere. If a beginner should 
find C. Clavatus he would hardly recognize it as a Craterellus, so 
different is its shape. The name clavatus shows that it is club- 
shaped, and it somewhat resembles the family Clavaria. It was 
irregularly club-shaped, of a pinkish yellowish hue, three inches 
long and one-half inch wide. The cap was rough and fleshy and 
it became narrower as it joined the solid flexous stem. The flesh 
was thick and white. Atkinson gives a fine picture and descrip- 
tion of a mushroom that I found for the first time this summer. 



94 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

It is Hypholoma riigoccphahuii. The regose markings on the cap 
(like the rivers on a. map) only raised and the reddish brown col- 
or, shining like varnish, mark it distinctly. I saw it often during 
the season. 

I found at least four new species of Inocyhe. I . riuiosa 
so called from the margin splitting up, /. astcrospora from the 
star-like shape of the spores, /. entheloides (which I suppose is al- 
most the same as /. ciitJiclcs, so called from its prominent umbo, 
/. geophylla of which there is a good picture given in Stevenson, 
page 252. This latter is of a white or greyish color and the cap 
only measures half an inch across. It is named geophylla from 
the earthy color of the gills which are at first grey and then earth 
color. It is an interesting little mushroom, with its conical cap 
and prominent umbo or rather papilla. We became cjuite fami- 
liar with it. 

IMarasmius is the genus of which we found the greatest num- 
ber of new species. There were five or more new to me. One 
of these M. resmosa seemed to puzzle every one. I finally sent it 
to Prof. Peck and he wrote to me about it. He had at first named 
it M. dccurrcns, but finding that name appropriated, called it M. 
resinosa. ]Mr. Lloyd forwarded the specimens I sent him to Prof. 
Beardslee, as the latter is writing upon the genus Marasmius and 
I believe is glad to get specimens and reports of any new species. 
I sent over two hundred specimens to Mr. J. B. Ellis, as he wish- 
ed to use them for Fungi Columbiani as w^ell as three hundred 
specimens of earth-tongues, Gcoglossum glabrum for the same 
work. The Marasmius grew on dead leaves in the woods. It 
was pure waxy white, unlike so many that have the stems black or 
dark color. The gills, too, were truly decurrent. The young ones 
Avere campanulate shaped but the caps expanded as they grew and 
a little umbo was formed, distinctly marked and giving it the ap- 
pearance of a derby hat with a narrow brim and round crown. It 
revived beautifully when placed in water. The fact that Maras- 
mhis will revive when moistened, makes it easy to keep the 
plants, and it is the best genus we have, since the specimens can be 
kept without drying up beyond recognition. 

I must not admit to mention the prettiest small mushroom next 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 95 

to Marasmius rcsinosa that I have ever seen. It is called Pholiota 
mycenoides. Stevenson describes it on page 237. I found it in 
a clay bank, near a spring. The soil was soaking wet from re- 
cent rains, and these tiny mushrooms (there were only a few to 
be seen) were glistening with moisture. The caps measured 
about a quarter of an inch to one-half inch across, but were re- 
markable for the large white ring like a collar, that was around 
the top of the stem, concealing the gills. The color of the bell- 
shaped and striate caps was a bright reddish-brown, but some 
were paler in color. The stems were only one inch long, smooth 
and a little paler than the caps. The name denotes their resem- 
blance toMyccjia, but the genus Myccna has no ring. The color 
of the ring was white and considering the small size of the mush- 
room, it was large and conspicuous. It reminded one of Queen 
Elizabeth's ruff. Stevenson calls it a remarkable species found 
in damp dells, which exactly describes its habitat. I do not be- 
lieve that many of us have found such a tiny Pholiota. 

The next mushroom on my list is Coprimes tomentostts. The 
specimens we found were beautiful. The caps were covered with 
a white woolly substance, which came away easily when handled, 
showing the pale mouse grey color beneath. The plants were 
small and grew on manure in a grassy place. The caps were coni- 
cal, about one and one-half inches high and the gills were brown. 

Our collection of mushrooms was not confined to Agarics. We 
found a species of Xylaria, X. corniformis, which resembled a 
roughened black club in shape. It belonged to the class of As- 
comycetes or spore-sac fungi. We have often met with Xylaria 
polyrnorpha, but X. corniformis seems to be less abundant. There 
is another of the Ascomycetes that we saw several times, but later 
in the season. It is named Cordyceps militaris. It looks like a 
Clavaria, but one can see with the help of a hand lens, the orange- 
colored perethecia imbedded in the club shaped head. 

Cordyceps is a genus that becomes parasitic either on insects or 
on some subterranean fungi. It often grows on moths, buried 
beneath dead leaves, the club rising above the surface. It may 
sometimes be seen in conidial stage and looks" like a small white 
plume. Not far from the grassy place where I found the little 



g6 THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

Coprimis, stretched a shady road, passing through dense woods. 
One side of it was bordered by a high clay bank, on the other the 
ground descended steeply to a little brook, and on both sides grew 
a tangled mass of rhododendrons. Through the month of July 
the great laurels reigned supreme and little could be seen but the 
gorgeous flowers, but in August the clay bank turned out to be a 
treasure house of fungi. The pretty Peziza, Lachnea macropus, 
grew in numbers. Underwood has a drawing of it (Plate No. 
IV. page 230) in his books on ''Moulds, Mildews and Mush- 
rooms ;" but it gives no adequate idea of the grace and beauty of 
the plant. It is shaped like a delicate goblet of a grey color. Some 
of them were nearly three inches high and the caps measured one 
and one-half inches in width. Prof. Atkinson mentions two species 
of Sarcoscpyha. This is also a peziza, a sub-genus of Lachnea. 
I did not find at Pocono the species he describes, but another one 
named Sarcoscypha occidentalism which I sent tO' Mr. Ellis for 
identification. It grew in the center of a clump of moss and could 
not have measured more than a line in breadth. It had a slender 
stipe, which was white and smooth, in strong contrast to the 
bright scarlet cup. It must be a much smaller species than those 
that Atkinson mentioned and it grew later in the season. 

I found one species of Gnepinia. It resembled tiny pinkish 
clubs, peeping through the chinks of a piece of dead wood. This 
genus belongs to the Tremellineae and the plants are gelatinous in 
their nature. 

The mushrooms I have described, form but a small part of the 
many I found at Mt. Pocono last summer. There is no room in 
this paper even to mention by name the various species of RtLSS- 
itla, Lactarins, Hygrophonis, Mycena and Collyhia, or any of the 
more familiar Agarics. I leave to the last our most interesting 
discovery. We saw a mushroom growing on an old dead log, 
very diff'^rent in appearance from all we had hitherto seen. The 
color was grey, the shape was disc-like, the stem short and slend- 
er and the hymenium almost smooth. It was plainly not an 
Agaric. I sent it to Mr. J. B. Ellis and he pronounced it a new 
species of Ciboria, a subgenus of Peziza. The plants grew on 
dead wood. Mr. Ellis asked me to procure some more specimens 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 97 

which I did with difficulty, as they were extremely rare. These 
confirmed his opinion as to its being a new species and he will pub- 
lish it under the name of Ciboria Dallasina E. and E. 
Philadelphia, Pa. 

NOTE AND COMMENT. 
The Dwarf Blue Curls. — In connection with Mr. Terry's 
valual)le article in this issue, the editor would note that the 
dwarf blue curls {Prunella vulgaris nana) in his grounds appear^ 
to bloom as freely as the large plants of roadsides and ditches. 
AVith us it roots at nearly every joint and is thus able to spread 
with great rapidity. 

Onions as a Rival to the ANEROiD.--In some country house- 
holds there are to be seen at the present time twelve large onions 
placed in a row, with a pinch of salt on the top of each. What 
mission have these odoriferous roots to perform? They are 
there, the Agricultural World explains, as wxather prophets. The 
onions were set in position on Christmas Day. They will be kept 
on guard until Twelfth Night. Then the believer in their pro- 
phetic office will examine them with scrupulous care. On some 
onions the salt will have melted ; on others it will have remained 
dry. Each onion represents a month. A rainy month is indicat- 
ed when the salt has melted, and a dry month when it has kept 
intact. 

A New Local Botanical Club. — The constitution of the 
American Botanical club provides that when there are five mem- 
bers in one locality these may form a local branch which is tO' be 
given a number and the name of some flower, the latter chosen by 
the branch itself. Acting upon this, Mr. H. S. Clark has secur- 
ed for Connecticut the honor of possessing the first branch by es- 
tablishing at Hartford, Erodium Branch No. i. Mr. Clark has 
been elected president and Miss K. A. Bartholomew, secretary. 
The meetings will be held on the first Monday evening in each 
month. By forming a local club such as this students of plants 
can gain many new ideas that might not come to them working 
alone and the example of Erodium Branch is recommjended to 
others. Tb^^ 1 --^-^^h receives its name from the fact that the pre- 
sident recently found the first Erodium moschatum reported from 
Connecticut. 



EDITORIAL. 

The present year seems to- have been a hard one for botanical 
publications. In addition to Meehans Monthly, the Junior Na- 
turalist and California Floriculturist have given up the ghost. 
While the subjects to which these journals are devoted maKC them 
in a certain sense rivals of The American Botanist we take no 
pleasure in the passing of the least of them, for each suspension 
is but another proof that in botanical fields the battles are sharp 
and the rewards few. A successful botanical publication is like- 
ly, for some time to come, to be catalogued with the rarest of rare 
species. 

Although there are still in existence a dozen or more publica- 
tions devoted to botany in its best sense, the latest reports of the 
newspaper directories do not credit a single one of them with a 
circulation of as many as a thousand copies. This is truly a poor 
showing for publications devoted to a science that is taught in 
nearly every High School in the land. One subscriber for every 
hundred thousand of population ! Is it at all surprising that an 
editor after doing his best for years tO' advance his chosen science 
should finally become disgusted at the small interest displayed 
and draw out of the race ? Another thing that adds to the botan- 
ical editor's chagrin is the fact that some of the horticultural and 
floricultural publications have most astonishing circulations. One 
magazine, in particular, issues more than three hundred and fifty 
thousand copies each month. If botanical journals were half as 
well supported the science would advance much faster than it 
does at present. 



The reader may ask how he is concerned in all this. At first 
glance, the matter may seem tO' be one in which editors and pub- 
lishers alone are interested; but it can readily be shown that it is 
of vital importance to every person interested in botany. A bot- 
anical journal that is not properly supported, will sooner or later 
be obliged to suspend, leaving the field to less worthy publications 
if it is occupied at all. No one doubts that the botanical publica- 
tion is of great value to the science; it gives in a single year more 
specialized information than can be obtained elsewhere for many 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 99 

times its price. Therefore, it behooves every botanist and bot- 
anizer tO' stand by any that are worthy, supporting them not only 
by subscribing, but by speaking of them to others, by contribut- 
ing to their pages and in various other ways helping toward their 
advancement. An attractive botanical publication is as much a 
credit to its subscribers and contributors as it is to the one who 
edits it or the country in which it is published. 

Although the past has held very little of encouragement for 
the botanical publication the prospects for the furture are much 
better. The large number of nature books that have been issued 
in the past decade, are slowly but surely increasing the number of 
those who take an intelligent interest in plant and animal life. 
Some of these books have sold from twenty-five thousand to one 
hundred thousand copies each—figures which the average novel 
fails to reach in spite of the phenomenal sales of a few of the lead- 
ers. In the light of these facts it is not too' much to expect that 
the next few years will develop botanical magazines of from thirty 
two to sixty-four pages, with subscribers enough to- make their 
publication w^orth while. But such magazines will not develop 
unless properly supported. 

The gentle art of scientific criticism has received a new inter- 
pretation from a recent reviewer of a paper on the birches by Mr. 
M. L. Fernald. The critic, finding nothing wrong with the facts, 
still unwilling to agree with the author, pitches into his diction. 
Criticism of this kind, however, comes with bad grace from a cri- 
tic who is author of that famous phrase ''birds and animals." If 
birds are not animals, what are they? 

Referring to the note in a recent number of this magazine re- 
garding the color of the berries of the false Solomon's seal or 
wild spikenard {Smilicina racemosa) a correspondent writes: 
"For three successive late autumns I have made note of the fact 
that these berries lose their spots and become clear red when fully 
ripe and yet I did not dare say so." If plant-lovers generally 
knew how much is guessed at in the making of even our best 
manuals, they would doubtless study the plants in the field with 
greater diligence. It is no secret that the text books are founded 



lOO 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



on dried specimens. ]\lany of our most distinguished scientists 
rarely go afield for study. Anyone who has noted the difference 
between the dead and flattened mummy of a plant and its living 
counterpart can readily realize that the closet student may become 
so familiar with the dried specimens as to scarcely recognize re- 
cently gathered material. It is told of a prominent New England 
botanist that when he found it difficult to identify a living plant, 
he used to say, ''Well, let's dry it and then see how it looks." And 
fern students assert that a certain prominent authority at Kew 
refused to name ferns submitted to him unless they were first 
dried ! Students of plants, therefore, should not too easily be- 
come convinced that their observations are wrong. Possibly the 
book is at fault. And in any case when book and student do not 
agree, it is well to make a note of the difference and get the opin- 
ion of (Others about it. 



Dr. Adolf Wagner of Innsbruck, Austria, announces that be- 
ginning with January, 1903, he will issue a bi-weekly publication 
devoted to abstracts of original botanical articles, such abstracts 
to be furnished by the authors. No charge is to be made for 
publishing the abstracts. The first year's subscription has been 
fixed at 28 kroners. 



With the increase in the interest in natural history has come 
the desire to grow and study plants from other localities. Among 
those who are catering to this want, a prominent place must be 
given to Mrs. S. B. Walker of Sedalia, Colorado and Harlan P. 
Kelsey, Kawana, N. C. Mrs. Walker's specialty is seed of Col- 
orado wild flowers. The editor has had considerable pleasure 
the past summer in watching the development of plants from 
some of this seed. Mr. Kelsey' s specialty is hardy native plants 
and the catalogue that describes them is so finely illustrated, that 
it is worth preserving with other botanical literature. His nur- 
series at Kawana are in charge of a member of the American Bot- 
anical club. Mrs. Walker also issues a catalogue. A copy of 
either catalogue may be had for the asking. 



RHODORA 

Journal of the New England Botanical Club 



To all interested in the Flora of the 
North Eastern State RHODORA is in- 
dispensable. 

It aims to interest the amateur as well 
as the professional botanist and will be 
found of permanent value to all students 
of our Flora. 



PUBLISHED MONTHLY 

Price, $1.00 Per Year 

Sample copy sent on receipt of ic. stamp. 



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THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 

Vol. 111. December 15, 1902. No. 6 

CONCERNING THE APPLE. 
By Chas. D. Turnball. 

It seems that when a writer on nature desires to attest and con- 
firm his title and demonstrate his ability to interpret nature's 
moods and signs he naturally employs the apple in his effort. 
Thoreau's essay on the apple has never been equalled for fullness 
and understanding, John Burroughs has also written entertain- 
ingly on the subject, and every writer appears to consider it an 
appropriate subject and a proper one with which to further his 
claim to consideration. The reason for this is plain. The apple 
is so thoroughly individual in the wood; the ash superficially re- 
sembles the maple, the chestnut resembles the oak,~in truth all 
have many points of similiarity ; but which could be confounded 
with the apple, even by one unacquainted with out-of-doors lore? 
On the tree-clad mountain-side it attracts our gaze as surely as 
the majesty of the oak or the stateliness of the chestnut. Since 
the course of empire began its journey towards the setting sun, 
^he apple tree, like the cow and horse, has followed in its wake, 
and in the course of ages has acquired an appearance of domesti- 
cation. This way explains how, though ungainly and illfavored, 
in comparison with the beauty of the elm or maple, it is admired 
by all with whom out-of-door nature finds favor. 

It is one of the few trees of temperate latitudes that are practi- 
ally never found in an absolutely wild state. Those hardy trees on 
the hills are not wild. From cores carelessly tossed here and 
there by America's first farmers and with the aid of the cows and 
birds it left the bounds of civilization and began life in the wilds. 
But it will be noted that only the hardy kinds, the Russian vari- 
ties, have ever evinced a desire to run wild. Our summer apples, 
the Astrachan and Golden Sweet, from southern Asia, are quite 
content to grow under man's protection. 



I02 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



In the early times of towns in the old states every goodman 
/Surrounded his g-abelled domicile with an apple orchard and in 
the cool of evening he strolled through the dark lanes of trees. 
But the increase of the town in after years, cut his orchard, like 
Wolfert Webber's cabbage patch, into snug building lots, and 
though many trees were felled to make way for streets and houses 
numbers remained, and to this day the goodman's orchard may be 
seen in the tottering, age-blasted trees in the yards of old houses 
in the ancient parts of the city, some bearing fruit, of varieties 
that long since disappeared, though without doubt we might find 
some of their venerable brothers in sleepy, mouldering English 
hamlets. 

The old age of the wild apple is pathetic. Often we see their 
'dried, lichen-covered skeletons in the meadow^s and on the hills, 
and in the forest clearing is a poor-looking, stagheaded tree that 
vainly strives to cover its blasted limbs. For these many years 
they have responded to vernal warmth with coats of white and 
pink ; the glory of June days and the breath of brown October con- 
tributed to the many yields of unmarked fruit, unmarked, but by 
the squirrel or browsing cow, or such as myself, who tramp the 
hills. The robin and blue-bird nested in the crooked limbs, and 
while the warm spring sun shone above, they taught their cal- 
low young. But wintry storms of rain and biting wind have 
corrupted and torn the aged limbs and a few seasons will lay 
them on the sward. 

Hariford, Conn. 

FRINGED GENTIAN. 
By Wm. a. Terry. 
I was pleased to see the account of experiments with the fring- 
ed gentian by Mr. Chas. C. Plitt in the October Botanist. I 
think there is no doubt that the plant is a biennial in this section. 
My edition of Gray says : "Annual or biennial," and all my ob- 
servations and experiments have convinced me that here it is bi- 
ennial. It is growing more rare every year, and I fear that all 
efforts to prevent its extermination will fail. It is difficult to pro- 
pagate. Some twenty or more years ago a well known Scotch 
gardener of Hartford offered a prize for plants artificially grown 
from seed. 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



It grows best in wet meadows and frequently in bushy swamps 
and swampy pastures and often in moist places by the roadside. 
In the meadows it is almost certain to be cut down with the late 
grasses, before maturing its seed, by the roadside it is equally cer- 
tain to be gathered in flower. But, beside these dangers, it has 
another enemy more destructive than all others. Several years 
ago I found nearly a hundred of these plants in flower by the side 
of an unfrequented road. I gathered all those that were con- 
spicuous, hoping that the others would escape observation. Later 
I visited them again, and found the seedpods matured and gather- 
ed some hundreds of them. On examination not one in twenty 
of these contained any seed. The others were inhabited by a 
small, light colored larva that had devoured most of the seed, and 
was rapidly consuming the rest. In December of the same year, 
I was exploring a woodland some five miles away from the place 
where these seeds were gathered, and found a number of dried 
plants still holding their seedpods upright. On examination 
these were found to contain from one to three of similar larva in 
each pod, much larger and darker in color than those found in 
the fall. They had consumed exery seed and were evidently hi- 
bernating for the winter. 

The s_eed we had collected were carefully planted. Some im- 
mediately after gathering, and some in the following spring. 
They were planted in the window garden, in the green house, in 
the flower garden and in the fields. Some that my wife planted 
in the window garden came up, and she had two or three dozen 
plants. These were potted up as they became large enough and 
some of them were planted out in the spring. They were slender 
and slowgrowing plants, very sensitive to injuries, and all of them 
died at various periods before reaching maturity. None of the 
other seeds planted at various times and in various places ever 
came up. 

Another of our wild flowers the mountain fringe {Adhimia 
fungosa) is generally called a biennial. Three years ago I took 
a young plant from the mountain, and set it out back of my wood- 
house ; it grew luxuriantly and covered the roof with vines loaded 
with flowers, which ripened an abundance of its black, shiny seeds 
The next year to my surprise none of them came up, but this year 



I04 ^^^^ AMERICAN BOTANIST. 

they sprouted in quantities, making numerous stout, healthy 
plants, which are now in condition to make flowering plants next 
'Season, thus taking three years to flower from seed. Another 
wild flower in danger of extinction here is the painted cup (Cas- 
tillcia coccinea) . It used to grow in wet meadows in such abund- 
ance that the school children called it ''headache plant," claiming 
that it gave them the headache to go through it. I well remember 
as a child that a bunch oi it held before the face was so dazzling 
to the eyes as to blur the outlines. I have sometimes- seen patches 
of it in which the floral bracts w^ere tipped with bright yellow in- 
stead of scarlet. For several years this plant has been very scarce 
here. 

Another fact I have observed, I would like explained. If the 
flowers of some perennials are picked, the plants disappear. 1 
have known this to happen with the orchid, Colopogon pulchelhis 
and some others. Several years ago a field half a mile from my 
house was full of flowers of Chamaelirium hiteiim. Some ladies 
picked them all to decorate a church, and since that time not a 
flower of this plant has ever been found in that field or its neigh- 
borhood, as far as I can discover. 

Bristol, Conn. 



THE PHYSICIAN'S NEED OF BOTANY. 
By Prof. \V. W. Bailey. 

It will be at once conceded that it strengthens any operator, ar- 
tist, or artisan to have an intimate acquaintance with the tools of 
his profession and it would seem that a certain knowledge of 
botany while not perhaps essential, would be very desirable to the 
physician. The history of the two sciences is coetaneous. 

Yet many physicians are confessedly ignorant of botany, and 
will assure you, from the fact that they have succeeded without 
it, that it has no practical value to the doctor. I confess that this 
argument is hard to meet, nor would I attempt to face it if it 
were not for the fact that just as learned physicians contend for it 
and some of the Medical schools expect it. 

That many physicians have considered botany important, is 
proved by the numberless recruits we have had from their ranks. 
Some of the .s^reatest lights of botanical science have been physi- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



105 



cians. We have but to look to our own country to find the names 
of Torrey, Gray, En^ehnann and Goodale. All these men started 
as doctors and, for one cause or another, drifted into the sister 
science. Army and Navy surgeons not a few, as a relief perhaps 
to the tedium of g"arrison or ship duty, have taken to botany or 
kindred science. Note such names of Elliott Coues and Valery 
Havard. 

Granted that botany is of use to the physician, on what grounds 
do we base the claim ? One strong reason for at least a rudimen- 
tary knowledo:e, is that one can here best study the organic cell in 
its simpler and afterwards in its more complex combination. 
Essential microscopic technique is at the same time acquired. 
Then again, all about us, in air and water, in our food, every- 
where in fact, prevail microscopic organisms, many of them po- 
tent and insidious causes of disease. I have only to point out that 
bacteria are plants, to show how important it is to know something 
of their structure and life history. 

I sometimes fancy that when a physician remarks that botany 
is of no use, he is thinking of the old style botany, mere analysis, 
so-called. If our study led only to the dry facts of systematic ar- 
rangement, non-vitalized by the story of the plant's life and re- 
lations, I should vote with him in regard to the waste of time 
s[ent in the pursuit. Nowadays we hope to have reformed this 
altogether. 

The student learns to recognize certain medicinal plants, their 
affinities, properties and derivatives. He learns also from men- 
tal deduction to expect certain qualities for good or evil in definite 
groups or orders of plants, and knowing these tendencies or fixed 
characters, ever looks for them when these plants occur. 

Thus in Papaveraceal he expects norcotics akin to opium ; in 
Solanaceae such alkaloids as atropine or nicotine, daturine, or hy- 
oscyamine; in Umhelliferae acute poisons, like conium, aethusa 
and cicuta, drugs like assafoetida; in Enphorhiaceae irritants 
or purgatives, like croton or castor oil. 

On the other hand he is assured that Malvaceae will yield him 
only harmless, soothing mucilages and the Labiatae, perfumes 
essential oils, balms and stimulants. He can thus, in a strange 
countr}^, apart from societies, libraries and collections, build up a 



io6 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



local pharmacopeia, making substitutes of indigenous plants for 
those known at home. 

By careful botanical study, he not only learns to systematize 
and generalize—useful pursuits both, when infused with life— but 
also to detect adulterations and frauds, to hate quackery and 
pseudo-science, and to foster only what is experimentally proved 
to be useful, or by logical inference presumed to be so. Apart 
from immediate and tangible results, the incidental training in ob- 
servation, comparison, diagnosis, must inevitably redound to one's 
mental advantage. 

The study of medicine is almost coeval with the origin of the 
human race. With man came woe and the desire to relieve it. 
Says Cabanis : ''As man cannot exclude himself entirely from the 
constant agency of many external causes ; and as he carries with 
him several others wdiich are destined to- act at particular periods 
of life, or which may at any time exert their influence; we may 
with safety aflirm that the flrst trials of particular remedies bear 
almost as ancient a date as the existence of man himself. Among 
the most rude and uncultured tribes,as those of New Holland 
and New Zealand, of Lapland and Greenland, of North Ameri- 
ca and tne interior of Africa, we find traces of the practice of 
Imedicine and surgery." 



HOW INDIA RUBBER IS OBTAINED. 

The true 'Tara," India rubber (Hevia) is to be found growing 
naturally within the immense forest-covered area of the valley of 
the Amazon and in the tributary rivers, including the head 
streams of the Orinoco. I found it abundant high up on the Or- 
inoco, above the junction of the Guaviare (the latter stream by 
right indeed, should be styled the head stream of the Orinoco) . 
It is plentiful on the banks of the Cassiquiare-that curious bifur- 
cation by which the Orinoco gives a stream to the Rio Ne^^ro, and 
so converts Guayana into an immense island. I also found it 
growing in the interior betwixt the Tapajos and the Xingu. The 
rivers from which the largest supply is drawn now by traders are 
the I'urus and the Maderia. In its native forests it grows: dis- 
persed among the other forest trees, two or three trees rarely be- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 1 07 

ing found in juxtaposition. In appearance the Hevia is a hand- 
some cree, wv.ii straight cyhndrical trunk— differing wliolly from 
the Ule — tlie India rubber trte. \ Castilloa) seen in Moskito and 
Nicaragua to South Mexico. The wood is soft and perishable. 
The bark as in the great majority of tropical trees, is not very 
thick, and is cf a gray color on the surface, but when scraped, ap- 
proaclies rhe appearance and color of a light bay horse's coat. This 
cleaning lias lo be done, as in moister regions the bark is thickly 
coated with growths of moss, ferns and orchids. The seeds 
grow, three together, in a sort of hard pod. This pod, becoming 
heated by the sun bursts when it is ripe with a sharp popping sound 
and scatters the seed for a considerable distance around the tree. 
The seed is exceedingly oily, and the oil extracted therefrom, 
closely resembling linseed oil, is a valuable product. The range 
cf temperature in the Hevia forest is between 70 deg., and 90 deg., 
throughout the year. Rainfall varies considerably in different 
districts where Hevia is found, some districts being nicely divided 
into wet and dry seasons, each of about six months' duration, 
while in others it lains moie or less the year round. In such dis- 
tricts it is more difficult to collect the caoutchouc profitably, as if 
the stem of the tree is very wet when it is vv^orked, the latex, or 
rubber-milk, spreads over the surface, of the bark, and is in large 
part lost. From what has been said it may be seen that the main 
part of the India rubber must be collected during the dry season, 
although ''siringaros." who live near "ciringals," or rubber walks, 
improve their opportunity by tapping their trees whenever fme 
days occur during the rainy season. But the trees are doubtless 
better for a half yearly rest. 

When the native hunter has discovered for himself a district of 
the forest in which ''siringa" trees are sufficiently numerous and 
near together he first connects them together by cutting a ''pica- 
do'' or path, with his bush knife. Having thus discovered their 
relative bearing, he next straightens and clears out his paths, en- 
deavoring at the same time to take in as many trees as possible on 
each path, and to make all the paths converge to a certain spot, 
whoie he puts up his ''barrica"or curing station. This done, and 
having collected a supply of the old nuts of the inaja {Maximili- 



ic8 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



ana regia) or similar oily palm nuts, he is ready to commence op- 
erations on the first fine day. There is some diversity in the man- 
ner of taking the rubber latex in the Amazon valley. In some 
districts they prepare long strips from the inner pith of the foot- 
stalk of the leaf of the inaja or of the hacaba palm. These are 
lacked obliquely round the stem of the trees, with sharpened 
l)icces split out of hard covering of the same leaf stalks. These 
strips, being smeared on the inside with wet clay, form a channel 
for collecting and conducting the latex milk into the cup placed to 
receive it. In the other method, which I consider the better, the 
cups are put on in a ring round the trunk, usually a span apart. 
Three cuts about i 1-2 ins. long are made in the bark with a small 
axe. In this way the number of cups is proportioned to the size 
of the tree. Tin cups are used. They are made slightly concave 
on one side in order to fit the convexity of the tree trunks. They 
are attached to the tree by the use of a piece of the ball of kneaded 
clay, which each collector carries in his bag. The tapping always 
begins as soon as there., is light enough in the forest path to see by, 
One man is usually apportioned to each path, containing, say, 100 
trees. When he has tapped his trees, he sits down at the end of 
the path for half an hour. or so, but as soon as he sees that the 
tree last tapped has ceased to drip. the milk, he starts at a trot on 
the back track, detaching and emptying the cups into his calabash 
as quickly as possible. Speed throughout is a great object, as the 
milk Jaicx speedily coagulates, and then can only be sold on the 
m.arket for an inferior price, as serivamhi, as compared to that ob- 
tained for that which has been smoke-cured. When the men ar- 
rive at the central hut from their different converging paths they 
each empty their quantum of the latex taken for the morning's 
work into one of the large Indian native earthenware pans, usually 
used as a receptacle. Care is taken to squeeze out with the hands 
all of the already coagulated curd-like masses. These are thrown 
on one side to be made up into balls. Earthen pots in form of 
miniature kilns are placed over small fires, and the "siringero" sits 
down to the really tedious part of his business. He drops a hand- 
ful or so of the oily palm nuts down the narrow neck of the kiln, 
and forthwith arises a dense smoke. Taking a wooden mould— 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 109 

like an ace of spades in .form— and holding it over the pan, he 
pours some of the latex over it in a thin film keeping it turned, so 
that it shall not run off before he succeeds in setting it to an even 
surface, which it soon does as it is passed backward and forward 
through the column of smoke. This is continued, one coating af- 
ter another, until he has finished the day's supply of rubber-milk. 
He then sticks his mould up in the thatch of the roof of the shed 
for the repetition of the process next, day, and until he finds the 
thickness of the biscuit makes the mould unwieldy to handle, when 
it is cut down one side, slipped oft', and stoTQd.--Indian Gardening. 

A NEW WAY TO OBTAIN SPORELINGS. 
The gardener of a hotel in Florida noticed numerous little plants 
of Maiden-hair fern (Adiantum capillus- veneris) clinging to the 
side of a large pot containing an old plant. On examination he 
saw that the spores had fallen and germinated in the congenial 
warm, moist situation. He was fond of experimenting with 
ferns and prepared a large pan in which he put several bricks of 
the common building sort, and filled the pan about half full of 
w^ater, coming about half way up the bricks. When they were 
thoroughly saturated he shook the spores of certain ferns upon 
them and awaited results. In this way he raised many ferns, 
though having sometimes to wait months for their full develop- 
ment. On inquiry I found that the most interesting feature of the 
plan to him was the variation he found in the young plants from 
their progenitors. --Afri". E. C. Anthony in Fern Bulletin. 



CLIMATE AND VEGETATION. 
Physical geographies have heretofore paid some attention to 
the question of plant and life zones, but it has been usually very 
superficial, consisting of an elementary discussion of the climatic 
conditions associated with certain well known and easily distin- 
guished plants. Thus Houghton says : "Plants require for their 
growth certain conditions of light, heat and moisture, and sin'ce 
the requisite amount of each of these varies with different species 
of plants, we find in every climatic zone a characteristic flora. 
* * * Moisture and heat are the prime essentials of vegeta- 



I lO 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



tion, and it is on their distribution that the distribution of vegeta- 
tion is principally dependent. The influence of heat and moisture 
is noticed as we pass from the equator to the poles, or from the 
base of a tropical mountain to its summit, thus arises a horizontal 
and a vertical distribution of vegetation." 

The horizontal zones of vegetation have heretofore been desig- 
nated the tropical, subtropifcal, warm temperate, cold temperate, 
subarctic, and arctic, each with its distinguishing climate and veg- 
etation, although overlapping each other somewhat. The Biolo- 
gical Survey, however, has given a different division, calling the 
three life zones of North America the tropical, austral, and boreal, 
subdividing these into the tropical, lower austral, upper austral, 
transition, Canadian, Hudsonian, and arctic— seven in all. The 
tropical is indicated by the region in the extreme southland, includ- 
ing the southern parts of Florida, Central America, the lowlands 
of Mexico, and the lower Gulf region ; the austral covers the whole 
of the United States and Mexico, except along the extreme north 
and south, while the boreal covers the entire northern part of the 
continent to the polar regions, and also a few peaks of the higher 
mountain systems within the United States. 

Subdivided and considered for temperature, the survey finds 
that the tropical zone is confined within that area which has a total 
quantity of heat approximating at least 26,000 degrees F. This 
is obtained by considering 43 degrees as the beginning of plant ac- 
tivity. With 43 degrees as a beginning, the effective temperature 
or degrees of heat (daily mean normal shade temperatures) in ex- 
cess of this number were added together for the several stations 
considered in the different zones, beginning when the normal 
means in spring exceeded 43 degrees and continuing until it fell 
to or below that point in the fall. With this as a basis the tropical 
was found to lie within lines which were bounded by an annual 
quantity of at least 26,000 degrees. The lower austral was con- 
fined to a region which required a total quantity of at least 18,000 
degrees F. The upper austral to a region and to plant species 
which required at least 1 1,500 degrees F. The plants of this zone 
apparently can not endure daily a summer temperature during six 
consecutive weeks of 79.8 degrees. The transition was confined 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



I I I 



to a region which required at least 10,000 degrees, the plants of 
which were apparently unable to withstand six consecutive weeks 
of daily summer temperature averaging 71.6 degrees, and the 
Canadian, Hudsonian, and arctic extending thence northward into 
the polar region, their southern limits being marked by the isoth- 
erms for the six consecutive hottest weeks of 64.4 degrees, 57.2 
degrees and 50 degrees, respectively. The conclusion of the sur- 
vey in regard to the distribution of plants and animals is as fol- 
lows : ''The northward distribution of terrestial animals and 
plants is governed by the sum of the positive temperatures for the 
entire season of growth and reproduction, and the southward dis- 
tribution is governed by the njean temperature of a brief period 
during the hottest part of the year." 

Vegetation throughout the greater part of the United States 
lies within the temperate (or austral) zone, and is dormant during 
several months of the year. It is within this region, however, 
that our largest staple food crops are produced. Germination 
and growth are wholly dependent upon the temperature in excess 
or deficiency of 43 degrees. Adamson says that "the develop- 
ment of buds is determined by the sum of the daily temperatures 
counted from the beginning of the year." But it is likely that a 
more accurate expression would be the sum of the daily tempera- 
tures from the cessation of winter. 

The adaptability of plants to climate is so great that it is ques- 
tionable if the heat units obtained for one latitude would be those 
required in a more northerly or southerly lahtude. Take wheat, 
for instance; it can be grown successfully within the semitropical 
zone and thence northward beyond the cold temperate zone, a 
range of probably 20 to 25 degrees of latitude, and in the northern 
limit the rate of growth is the more rapid. Hoffman, in a series 
of experiments at Giessen, Germany and Upsala, Sweden, found 
that the time of the blooming of the Syringa vulgaris (common 
lilac) was April 29 at Giessen and June 17 at Upsala. The heat 
units received were 1,482 degrees and 1,433 degrees C., respective" 
ly, practically the same. In the first ripening of fruits, 1 1 species 
being considered, the ratio between the two places was as 100 to 
82, while for the interval between the first bloom and the ripening 



I 1 2 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST 



of fruits the ratio was as loo to 93. It is commonly observed, ol- 
ten to the great loss of the farmer, that seeds from plants brought 
into a northern country from the south produce plants whicli will 
not mature, for they are caught by the early frosts, while, vice 
versa, the northern plants in the south ripen far earlier than the 
native species. Thus it behooves the seeker after seed to stay as 
nearly as possible within his line of climatic latitude, or draw from 
a region slightly to the northward. 

It has been found that the average daily temperature in the 
shade must be above 39.2 degrees F., for sugar cane, and 46.4 de^ 
grees F., for potatoes, if one desires to observe the effects of ger- 
mination and growth. And the" higher the temperature the quick- 
er the germination and growth. Huberlandt found that with a 
temperature of 49.0 degrees it took beet seed twenty-two days to 
germinate, while with a temperature of 60.4 degrees only three 
and tliree-fourths days were necessary. With these plants, also, 
the maximum yields were secured by planting the ist of ]May 
. ather than the ist of INIarch or April. 

Rainfall is, next to temperature, the most important climatic 
element. The amount required for the growth of vegetation has 
been ascertained many times and for a large variety of plants, but 
with rainfall, as with temperature, there seems to be a wide range, 
possibly because plants adapt theinselves to their environment. In 
addition to the amotmt of rainfall required, it is essential also to 
know the frequency of fall, the rapidity of fall, and the average 
amount of each fall. Thus a rainfall of 4 to 5 inches per month 
would, if it came in showers of a half to three-quarters of an inch, 
provide ample moisture for the most thirsty farm crop, but if the 
same amount were dashed down in one or two heavy showers, the 
result would not be favorable. Other points of value are the pro- 
bability of rainfall, the length of time rain may reasonably be ex- 
pected to continue after it has set in, the extent of the country cov- 
ered, the temperature, humidity, sunshine and wind before and 
following the rain, the condition of the ground water, drainage, 
and composition of the soil, and the moisture characteristics of the 
plant. 

Sunshine as a factor in plant growth is probably third in im- 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



porlance, and closely allied to temperature. It is usually deter- 
mined by the inverse method, observations of clouds and cloudi- 
ness, rather than the actual sunshine, although of late years many 
of our stations are equipped with sunshine recorders, and the ap- 
proximate hours of sunshine are obtained with a fair degree of ac- 
curacy. 

The effect of sunshine in determining the form of plants is w^ell 
known. If a plant germinate beneath a box, board, or stone it 
does not spread out at random, but takes the shortest path to the 
sunlight, where it spreads out in its usual form. The form and 
direction of growth of every branch, leaf, or shoot of a plant is 
controlled largely by its accessibility to the light. This is true 
even to the development of the branches, for these bud and grow 
where the leaves can unfold to the light with the least obstruction, 
and a symmetrical plant is usually an unobstructed one. 

Just how much sunshine is essential has not been fully determin- 
ed, so far as I can learn, but that plants differ much in their re- 
quirement, and also adapt themselves rapidly in this, as in tem- 
perature and moisture, is well known. An almost cloudless sky 
for months will not harm many plants if they have an abundance 
of moisture, and it is probable that others would be equally im- 
mune if they were gradually acclimated. Experiments in Paris 
carried on through a period of five years, in which sunshine, heat, 
rainfall, and evaporation were carefully measured from March to 
July, inclusive, showed that a considerable increase in crop yield 
was obtained when the percentage of sunshine was greatest, al- 
though at no time during the period was there a very marked dif- 
le: ence in the amount of sunshine measured. 

Other climatic elements which can be considered of value in re- 
lation to vegetation are wind direction, wind velocity, and eva- 
poration. The wind direction and velocity of all parts of the 
United States have been determined with reasonable accuracy, 
and should be available to anyone seeking this information. The 
damaging effects of high winds can be largely controlled by the 
cultivation of wind-breaks. These will quickly and permaently 
prevent drifting of the soil, too rapid evaporation by high winds, 
broken and fallen grain, due to the same cause, and, to a consider- 



114 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



able extent, winter killing. Professor King finds a marked de- 
crease in the rate of evaporation for a considerable distance to the 
leeward of a row of trees or a hedge. He also recommends for a 
windy country, where light and comparatively porous soils pre- 
dominate, small, narrow fields, with intervening fields of clover, 
alfalfa, or grass, for even these small plants serve as marked bar- 
rier in drifting soils. — Chas. E. Linney, in Proceedings of Second 
Convention of Weather Bureau officials. 



NOTE AND COMMENT. 

Change of Odor in Jasmin Flowers. — It has been noticed 
by those who grow the common jasmin that the flowers when first 
'expanded, possess in a marked degree the delicious fresh odor 
which is characteristic of them. But as flowering progresses, the 
perfume becomes less delicate and the blooms are then very at- 
tractive to blue-bottle flies. This would appear to have some 
connection with the recorded formation of indol in the jasmin 
bloom as the process of flowering approaches completion.-- 
ScientiHc American. 

The Fringed Gentian a Biennial. — Mr. Plitt who contri- 
buted an interesting article to the October Botanist will find his 
expectations result as he anticipates. More than ten years ago, 
Mr. George Redles contributed to the Germantown Horticultural 
Society, the knowledge of the biennial habit of the fringeil gen- 
tian and both he and myself have possessed a "rare locality" in 
the "Wissahickon woods" — a noted locality here — by collecting 
seed and planting with judgment. Seeds planted one year de- 
velop the next, the plants blooming the second year. There has 
been no variation from this and we have followed this course for 
so many reasons with unvarying results that with us, the bienn.ial 
character is beyond a doubt. — Edzcin C. Jellett, Gerniantozvn. Pa. 

A Mix-up in Common Names. — An amusing instance of the 
misunderstandings that may arise when only the common names 
of plants are used, and one that well teaches the value of a stable 
nomenclature, is furnished by two horticultural contemporaries. 
Some one sent the editor of the Florist's Exchange a box of pa- 
paw fruits {Asimina triloba) and asked if the difference in the 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST I i 5 

amount of fruit borne by different trees was not due to imperfect 
or unisexual flowers. Upon his replying in the aiflmative the 
editor of hidian Gardening observes that they do not know every 
thing down in Ohio and that the papaw tree (which this time is 
(Carica papaya) bears the two kinds of flowers on separate trees. 
Each editor had a different tree in mind, but one common name 
characterized both. 

How THE Choke-Berry Increases. — The tangled thickets 
of choke-berry (Pyrus melanocarpa) are conspicuous features ot 
many swampy tracts, but only in a general way is it known how 
such thickets are formed. If one will take the trouble to dig up 
a specimen he will find that many of the roots, after running for 
some distance in the soil turn abruptly upward and form new 
stems. An old shrub with all its dependent progeny around it is 
a curious sio^ht when uprooted. Its manner of life is exactly the 
reverse of the famous banyan tree whose branches produce roots. 
The choke-berry's method is only a variation of the penchant for 
producing suckers from the roots that is common to many of its 
nearest of kin. Some varities of the cultivated plum sucker so 
freely that they are not to be tolerated on a well kept lawn. The 
wil ' crab also has the habit. Let but a single plant alone and it 
will produce a thicket in short order — a vast green pyramid, the 
tallest and oldest plants in the center, and grading down to the 
tender yearlings on the edges. 

Albino Flowers. — When the slightest difference is noted and 
varying departures from original types are seized upon to en- 
hance the reputation of their discoverers, why is it that the white 
variety of the chickory {Cichorinm intybus) and the white var- 
iety of the moth mullein ( Verbasciim hlattaria) are not distinct- 
ly named ? Both these varieties are constant and in some locali- 
ties are almost as plentiful as the standard types. Prof. Gray, 
many years ago gave a reason, but when less important variations 
in other classes of plants are recorded, it to me seems strange that 
differences so pronounced are passed. — Edzcin C. Jellett, Ger- 
numdozL'n, Pa. [Most botanists look upon white flowers as al- 
binos and the circumstances which produce them as analogous to 
those which cause albinism in animals. Less notice would there- 



ii6 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



fore be taken of a white-tiowered form of a species that normally 
produces colored llowers than if the flowers varied to some other 
color. Albino flowers are always of interest and the finding of 
such on s])ecies not before known to produce them should be re- 
corded. — Ed.] 

Origin of Nectaries. — The nectar is produced in the flower 
"for tiie bees in order to secure a transfer of pollen — so we are 
told, — but how about the nectaries on other parts of the plant? 
]^.Iany plants ha^-e honey-glands at the base of the leaves and even 
the ferns, which never bear flowers and therefore have no pollen 
to carry, often have these glands. The common bracken {ttcris 
aquilina) is a conspicuous example. The truth is that our inter- 
pretation of each fact in plant-life as an adaptation of the plant 
looking toward its active advancement is probably erroneous. In 
the case of honey-glands on the leaf-stem it has been found that 
most, if not all of them, are merely excreting organs. The 
plant takes its crude materials from the water and air and in the 
chemical leaction necessary to form the material for its own u^e, 
certain other undesirable products are thrown off and these the 
plant promptly ^tts rid of by emptying them through the glands. 
If these excreted products happen to please the tastes of ant or fly 
il is so much their gain. The bracken has honey-glands at the 
base uf each pinnule; but the male fern (Kcphrodium riiL^r-inas) 
of Europe and the marginal shield fern {Nephrodiiim viargin- 
ale) of America, as if to show conclusively that the attraction of 
insects is not their real object, have similar glands in their root- 
stccks which empty inwardly into certain vacant spaces formed 
by the breaking down of several old cells. To return to the flow- 
er, it is probable that the nectaries were not evolved entirely with 
an eye to tiie tee; but that given 'i primitive honey-gland and ari 
insect with a taste for sweets, bee and nectary have developed to- 
gether. 

An American Plant Craze. — The craze for tulips that rag- 
ed in Holland some three hundred years ago, is a matter of com- 
mon knowledge. While it was at its height, two thousand dol- 
lars was frequently paid for a single bulb. That this mania had 
a parallel in America seems scarcely known. According to The 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



117 



Scientific American, James I. of England who hated tobacco and 
was resolved to replace its culture in Virginia by the rearing of 
silk worms may be said to have started the mischief, but it was 
not until the Chinese mulberry (Morns multicaulis) began to be 
advocated as a food for the silk-worm that it assumed its alarm- 
ing proportions. Silk-worms were raised in considerable num- 
bers in Virginia and the coronation robe of Charles IT. was made 
from such silk. In 1759, 10,000 pounds of raw silk was ex- 
ported from Georgia. At first the worms were fed on the leaves 
of the white mulberry (Morns alba)hut as soon as the qualities 
of the Chinese mulberry became known, a speculative fever seized 
upon all classes. It raged with particular virulence in Connecticut. 
Everybody expected to get rich in growing mulberry trees. At 
first these sold for three to five dollars a hundred, but the price 
rapidly advanced to five dollars each, and single trees were sold 
for as high as one hundred dollars. Cuttings were available for 
planting and slender switches, two feet long were sold for 
twenty-five dollars a dozen. The trees upon ten acres of land 
brought $38,000. So interested were the people in raising trees 
that the rearing of silk-worms was nearly forgotten. When the 
crash came many who had invested in the business were totally 
ruined. In the reaction that ensued the trees were pulled up and 
burned and in 1844 a violent storm followed by a general blight 
finished the mulberries and thus ended the culture of silk in Am- 
erica. 

Tortoises and Toadstools.— It seems that man is not the only 
animal with a taste for the higher fungi. Dr. Harshberger in the 
October Journal of Mycology notes that the box tortoise (Cistndo 
Virginica) is very fond of the green russula (R. virescens) a 
toadstool not uncommon in America. 

Fruit of Yew not Poisonous. —In the September number, 
you ask if the fruit of the ground hemlock (Taxns canadensis) 
is poisonous. I would say that I know of at least six persons, in- 
cluding myself, who have eaten of the fruit without ill effects. 
One person says that she has even eaten a small handful at a 
time. The Century Dictionary says that the leaves of the yew 
are poisonous, but makes no mention of the fruit.~i^a/^ Harri- 
son, Wellshoro, Pa. 



EDITORIAL. 



It was formerly supposed that the newspapers had the exclusive 
right to publish startling and unfounded stories about plants, but 
of late the horticultural and floricultural publications seem inclin- 
ed to enroach upon this field. That tropical weed the Bryo- 
phylhun a species allied to our common live-forever {Scduui) and 
often the base of amazing stories in the past, is again to the front 
in a paragraph to the effect that it is impossible to kill it. *'You 
may chop it up into bits," says the article ''and every piece will 
produce a new plant.'' The simple fact is that the leaves of the 
Bryophylhim, like those of the live-for-ever are rather tenacious 
of life and if they come in contact with moist soil even after sev- 
ered from the plant, will produce new plantlets from buds on their 
margins. Another horticultural magazine gravely informs its 
readers that the grape-fruit {Citnis decumana) receives its com- 
mon name from the fact that it grows ''in grapose clusters." 
Everybody that has seen the grape-fruit growing knows that the 
fruits hang singly, like their near relatives the orange and lemon. 
"Grapose clusters" savors strongly of facts manufactured to fit 
the explanation. 

In an article on walking sticks that orginiated in a magazine 
devoted to floriculture and has since been widely circulated, we 
are told that most walking sticks come from abroad and are tow- 
ed to this country by various vessels in order that the salt water 
may harden them in transit. Without knowing positively that a 
bundle of walking sticks has never been dragged across the At- 
lantic in the wake of a steamer, the editor ventures the opinion 
that most skippers would prefer such cargoes inside their vessels 
and would even prefer to salt them, if need be, rather than have 
them flopping along behind. 

These stories are harmless though absurd, but of a different 
nature is a recent article to the effect that every fruit carries with 
it plain indications of its beneficial or harmful nature. All fruits 
such as the apple which bear the marks of the blossom are to be 
eaten and all which do not are to be avoided. Such methods of 
distinguishing between the good and bad, however, are unreliable 
tor there are nearly as many edible fruits that do not bear the 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 1 1 9 

marks of the blossom as there are fruits that do. Witness the 
cherry, plum, peach, tomato, gooseberry, currant and grape, to 
say nothing of such wildings as the mandrake, the cranberry and 
the elderberry. The one fact underlying this matter is that in 
temperate regions, the two families of plants that give us most of 
our edible fruits, happen to be the rose and heath families, both 
of which bear fruits crowned with the remains of the blossom. 
But in both these families there are fruits like the choke-berry 
(Aronia nigra) and the squaw huckleberry (Vaccinium stam- 
mcum) that are inedible. 

The question why the general public should prefer articles of 
this kind to less startling and more truthful information is one 
that deserves more than a passing thought. It would seem that 
it cannot be ascribed entirely to ignorance, but has a deeper 
psychological origin inasmuch as mankind has always turned a 
credulous ear toward marvellous stories of plants and in their be- 
liefs endowed many of them with supernatural powers. The le- 
gends of the mandrake and the elder of the mystic fernseed and 
the wonderful spring wurzel that would open any lock, are in- 
stances of beliefs once current. And while we no longer accept 
such stories for the truth a large number of people still hold to 
ideas concerning plants that are almost as incredible, or exhibit a 
willingness to believe extraordinary stories about them that is 
most surprising. 



BOOKS AND WRITERS. 

The reviewer rarely comes upO'U a book devoted to sciences 
other than botany that he cares to recommend to his readers, but 
in the case of Samuel J. Hunter's "Elementary Studies in Insect 
Life," published by Crane & Co., Topeka, Kansas, he feels that 
such a recommendation is not unwarranted. He does not re- 
member to have seen a book devoted to insects that contained a 
greater number of related facts and that was written in a more 
charming manner than this one. The book is not a manual for 
identifying insects, although it contains an excellent key to the or- 
ders and principal families, but aims rather at developing some of 
the biological problems presented by the insect world. Such sub- 



I 20 



THE AMERICAN BOTANIST. 



jects are treated as metamorphosis, the special senses protective 
devices, soHtary and social life, instinct, relation of plants and 
•insects, friends and foes, the wealth of insect life, the habits of 
ants, form and function, etc., in all of which there is a vast amount 
of information of a character that those who are not entomologists 
will find it advantag^eous to know. There are two colored plates 
and 232 other illustrations, a large number of which are photo- 
graphs from life. Many of the statements will be interesting to 
botanists aside from their entomological bearing as the one that 
records that it is sometimes dilficult to obtain verbena blossoms 
because they are torn to pieces by the milkweed butterfly in with- 
drawing its proboscis from the flower; or that the grasshopper 
•which spends much of its time on the lambs-quarter (chenopo- 
diiim album) is marked with red, like the leaf. The one thing 
that will attract all plant lovers is the account of the pronuba 
moth fertilizing the yucca which is illustrated by flash-light pho- 
tographs of the operation. The practical value of the book is 
^exhibited in such parts as that devoted to injurious insects and 
how to ^ deal with them and instructions for collecting and pre- 
serving specimens. The volume contains 344 pages and costs 
$1.25. 



Aspects of the Forest in WiNTER.~On the whole, winter is 
a far better season for walking in public parks than summer is . 
One sees much more of the broad scenery when the leaves have 
fallen. I need not say that the winter aspect of a forest, after 
a fresh fall of snow, or after cold rain has frozen upon every twig 
and lingering leaf is one of extraordinary beauty. Less under- 
stood is the beauty of bare trees, of the half frozen brook and of 
the blue shadows on the fields of mo\\ .--President Eliot of Har- 
vard in Park and Cemetery. 



RHODORA 

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North Eastern State RHODORA is in- 
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It aims to interest the amateur as well 
as the professional botanist and will be 
found of permanent value to all students 
of our Flora. 



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